Cub Scout and Boy Scout Stories


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Alphabet Imagination

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Instead of a story script, scouts can create their own story in a round-robin fashion.

Choose someone to begin telling the story and give them a scenario, such as: an airplane accident scene.
The scout speaks a line that starts with the letter 'A'.
The next scout in the circle speaks a line that starts with 'B'. Continue until the story finishes or a scout is stumped.
Start with a new scenario for the next scout.

For example, with an airplane accident...
All you people start first aid on these survivors.
But, I don't have my first aid kit.
Can't you think of anything except saving yourself?
Don't worry, I will save them!
Everyone run, the gas is about to blow!
Fire, cool, I like fire.
Girl scouts were on that plane and they need our help.
Hang on girls, we're coming to save you.
...

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Anishinabe and the Ravens

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:Learn about others, but be what you are.
Story:There once was a man that enjoyed watching the black Raven's fly around, play, squawk, and chatter. He enjoyed them so much he would climb trees just to be closer to them. For many months the Ravens ignored the man, but after awhile, one of the Ravens flew from a nearby tree and landed directly next to the man.
In utter amazement, the bird spoke to the man and asked, "You have been watching us for a long time. You have tried to get close to us. Why do you do this?"

The man replied, "I mean no harm. I have become enchanted with you and all your relatives. I enjoy the play, the squawking, and I wish I could learn your language so I could understand more about you."

Then the Raven responded, "We are honored that you want to know us, as long as you do not cause harm, we will teach you our language."

For many months the Ravens taught the man all about the language and how the Ravens lived from day to day. The man became so educated that he knew everything there was to know about the Ravens. Many of the Ravens saw the man and accepted him as a friend.

One day, an older Raven was flying far over the man, dropped a walnut perfectly on the man's head. It was done on purpose and all the Ravens almost fell off their branches laughing so hard the way they do. One Raven was flying and was laughing so hard he had to crash land right in front of the man.

The man was feeling bad and was hurt by being made fun of, so he asked the Raven in front of him, "Why are you all picking on me."

The Raven stopped laughing and became very serious. "We thought you understood us, but apparently you don't. If you did you would know that we are not mocking you... well maybe a bit, but it is done in our way of having fun. We are 'playing' with you and that is all. It is not to be taken seriously. You should know us better."

The man took sometime to understand this and over time a few more practical jokes were played on the man and he in turn pulled a few "good ones" on the birds. A good time was had by all and the man became even closer to the Ravens.

Then another event occurred. A young Raven swooped out of the sky and pecked the man on the head. Then another young Raven swooped down and did the same thing. The man ran across the field and into the woods but the Ravens kept chasing him and very skillfully they flew at high speeds through the woods tormenting the man. Finally the two stopped and started to yell mean words, fighting words at the man.

Again the man did not understand, but he knew the two Ravens were very mad at him, so he decided to leave and let the Ravens be. The man went away for many months.

As he did his duties in the his tribal village, he told all the people about his adventures and what he learned about the Ravens. Some listened with intent, others just thought the man was a fool to study the Ravens so. The villagers gave the man a new name of "Black Feather" because of his close relationship to the birds, but the man objected and said, "I am no longer close to the Raven people."

From above there was a squawking sound of a single Raven. Some of the people looked up and were surprised that they could understand the Raven, others just looked around because they could hear nothing but squawking. The Raven was speaking to the man and said, "It is true, you are closer to us than any Anishinabe (Human) has ever come. You are close, but you still don't understand us fully. I invite you to return to us, many miss you."

Black Feather started to follow the Raven but then stopped at the edge of the village. He looked around to make sure no other Anishinabe could hear then asked the Raven, "why do you ask me back when the two Ravens where fighting with me and were mean."

"The Raven landed at Black Feathers feet and said, "See how little you understand us. The two young Ravens did not fight with you because you are Anishinabe, it is because they accepted you as a member of the Raven people. You should know that we fight among ourselves too. It is a part of our way of life. Instead of sulking and leaving you should have fought back."

Black Feather stood in silence and said, "There is much about Ravens I don't understand. Maybe we are too different people to ever understand each other. I should stop and return to my people in the village."

The Raven again shook his head and told Black Feather, "That is your choice, but again I tell you that you have come closer to us Raven people than any other Anishinabe. Would you throw this all away just because you can't understand us yet?"

Black Feather responded, "It's useless, how can I ever understand you, I can't even fly!"

A thousand bursts of laughter was heard from all the surrounding trees and Black Feather knew that all the Raven People were there, hiding and listening.

"Of course you can't fly. You are Anishinabe and we are Ravens. But we accept you as one of us. We play with you. We fight with you. We love you and want you back. We also recommend you don't try to fly in order to be like us, because then, you would not be Anishinabe nor a Raven but something else. We like you as an Anishinabe that understands us as Ravens. Join us or not the decision is yours."

Black Feather returned to the Anishinabe village and bid everyone farewell because he had decided to live with the Raven people. After all the farewells and such he started to leave the village. All the Anishinabe people were there to see him off, and high over head was a thousand Raven's.

Then from high above one of the older Ravens dropped a walnut shell and again with remarkable aim, plunked Black Feather right on the head. All the Ravens started laughing hard and all the Anishinabe were laughing too.

Black Feather laughed and looked up at the old Raven and said, "Good one."

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Ballad of Johnny O'Dell

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Wild are the tales of the Pony Express
And most of them are true if I don't miss my guess.
But wildest of all tales that they tell
Is that of fearless young Johnny O'Dell.

Johnny was little, but he was a man
Whom none could outride, outshoot or outplan.
Ride, he could ride anything that could run
And could outdo any man with a gun.

Back in those days there were men in the West
And Johnny O'Dell was as good as the best.
Only the bravest could carry the mail
Through terrible dangers that haunted the trail.

Dangers there were on the night I describe,
For Johnny encountered an Indian tribe.
Blackie, his horse, gave a new burst of speed.
No Indian pinto could equal that steed.

Bullets and arrows whizzed over his head
As into the foe and right through them he sped.
Outlaws had raided the station ahead
The horses were stolen, his partner was dead.

Onward went Johnny over the trail.
For such was the life when you carry the mail
Rivers they forded for bridges there were none
While crossing one stream he was stopped by a gun.

"Halt!" cried a man on the bank of the creek-
As together they fired by the light of the sun.
Still lay the stranger whom Johnny had met,
For all that I know he is lying there yet.

Onward went Johnny into the West,
As a spot of crimson appeared on his vest.
Together they continued their hazardous ride,
The powerful horse with the brave man astride.

Into the town of Red Gulch did they go,
As blotches of blood marked their way through the snow.
This was the end of the perilous trail
Through bullets, and arrows; through blizzards and hail.

Johnny dismounted and cried with a wail,
"Oh, Darn it all, I've forgotten the mail!"


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Barnabas and Sebastian

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:An old man named Barnabas lived with his dog in a house a big old house his grandfather had built long ago. Barnabas used to own a store in town, but now he was retired and spent his days panning for gold in nearby streams hoping to some day strike it rich. The dog was a big wolfhound named Sebastian and Barnabas had raised him from a pup he found years ago.

Every morning Barnabas went out to pan for gold and Sebastian stayed behind and guarded their house. One morning, as Barnabas was dumping out a dead pan of gravel, he got the feeling that something was wrong at home.

He hurried home as fast as he could, fearful of what he might find. When he got home, he found everything to be still and quiet - Sebastian was missing. He searched the house and the woods nearby, but Sebastian was nowhere. He called and he called, but the dog did not answer. For days, Barnabas looked for Sebastian but he could find no trace of him.

Finally he gave up and went forlornly back to his work. But one morning before heading out, he heard something moving in the attic. He picked up his gun. Then he thought, "I'd better be quiet about this."

So he took off his boots. In his bare feet, he began to quietly climb the attic stairs. He slowly took one step - then another - then another, until at last he reached the attic door.

He stood outside listening, but he didn't hear a thing. Then he opened the door, and -

(Now SCREAM!)

(At this point, the storyteller stops, as if he has finished. Then usually somebody will ask, "Why did he scream?"

The storyteller replies, "You'd scream too if you stepped on a nail in your bare feet.")

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Bat

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Once there was a great war between the beasts and the birds. Bat was on the birds' side. In the first battle, the birds were badly beaten. As soon as Bat saw that the battle was going against them, he crept away, hid under a log, and stayed there until the fight was over.

When the animals were going home. Bat slipped in among them.

After they had gone some distance, they saw him and asked one another: "How is this? Bat is one of those that fought against us!"

Bat heard them and he said: "Oh, no! I am one of you; I don't belong to the bird people. Did you ever see one of those people who had teeth and hair? You can say that I belong to the bird people, but I don't; I am one of your own people."

They didn't say anything more; they let Bat stay with them.

Soon after, there was another battle; in that battle birds won. As Bat's side was getting beaten, he slipped away and hid under a log. When the battle was over and birds were going home, Bat went in among them.

When they noticed him, they said: "You are our enemy; we saw you fighting against us."

"Oh, no," said Bat, "I am one of you; I don't belong to those beasts. Did you ever see one of those people who had wings?"

They didn't say anything more; they let him stay with them.

So Bat went back and forth as long as the war lasted. At the end of the war, birds and beasts held a council to see what to do with him. At last they said to Bat, "From now on, you will fly around alone at night, and you will never have any friends, either among those that fly, or those that walk."


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Battle of the Snakes

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:There was a man who was not kind to animals. One day when he was hunting, he found a rattlesnake and decided to torture it. He held its head to the ground and pierced it with a piece of bark. Then as it was caught there, he tormented it.
"We shall fight," he said and then burned the snake until it was dead. He thought this was a great jest and so, whenever he found a snake, he would do the same thing.

One day another man from his village was walking through the forest when he heard a strange sound. It was louder than the wind hissing through the tops of tall pine trees. He crept closer to see. There, in a great clearing, were many snakes. They were gathered for a war council and as he listened in fright he heard them say:

"We shall now fight with them. Djisdaah has challenged us and we shall go to war. In four days we shall go to their village and fight them."

The man crept away and then ran as fast as he could to his village to tell what he had heard and seen. The chief sent other men to see if the report was true. They returned in great fright.

"Ahhhh," they said, "it is so. The snakes are all gathering to have a war."

The chief of the village could see that he had no choice. "We must fight," he said and ordered the people of the village to make preparations for the battle. They cut mountains of wood and stacked it in long piles all around the village. They built rows of stakes close together to keep the snakes out. When the fourth day came, the chief ordered that the piles of wood be set on fire. Just as he did so they heard a great noise, like a great wind in the trees. It was the noise of the snakes, hissing as they came to the village to do battle.

Usually a snake will not go near a fire, but these snakes were determined to have their revenge. They went straight into the flames. Many of them died, but the living snakes crawled over the bodies of the dead ones and continued to move forward until they reached the second row of stakes.

Once again, the chief ordered that the piles of wood in the second row of defense be set on fire. But the snakes crawled straight into the flames, hissing their war songs, and the living crawled over the bodies of the dead. It was a terrible sight. They reached the second row of stakes and, even though the people fought bravely, it was no use. The snakes were more numerous than fallen leaves and they could not be stopped. Soon they forced their way past the last row of stakes and the people of the village were fighting for their lives. The first man to be killed was Djisdaah, the one who had challenged the snakes to battle.

It was now clear that they could never win this battle. The chief of the village shouted to the snakes who had reached the edge of the village: "Hear me, my brothers. We surrender to you.

We have done you a great wrong. Have mercy on us."

The snakes stopped where they were and there was a great silence.

The exhausted warriors looked at the great army of snakes and the snakes stared back at them. Then the earth trembled and cracked in front of the human beings. A great snake, a snake taller than the biggest pine tree, whose head was larger than a great long house, lifted himself out of the hole in the earth

"Hear me," he said. "I am the chief of all the snakes. We shall go and leave you in peace if you will agree to two things."

The chief looked at the great snake and nodded his head. "We will agree, Great Chief," he said.

"It is well," said the Chief of the Snakes. "These are the two things. First, you must always treat my people with respect. Secondly, as long as the world stands, you will never name another man Djisdaah."

And so it was agreed and so it is, even today.

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Birch Tree's Bark

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:It was a hot day, and Old-man was trying to sleep, but the heat made him sick. He wandered to a hilltop for air; but there was no air. Then he went down to the river and found no relief. He traveled to the timberlands, and there the heat was great, although he found plenty of shade. The traveling made him warmer, of course, but he wouldn't stay still.

By and by he called to the winds to blow, and they commenced. First they didn't blow very hard, because they were afraid they might make Old-man angry, but he kept crying:
"Blow harder : harder : harder! Blow worse than ever you blew before, and send this heat away from the world.'
'Bend and break, Fir-Tree!' cried Old-Man, and the Fir-Tree did bend and break.
'Bend and break, Pine-Tree!' and the Pine-Tree did bend and break.
'Bend and break, Spruce-Tree!' and the Spruce-Tree did bend and break.
'Bend and break, O Birch-Tree!' and the Birch-Tree did bend, but it wouldn't break, no it would not!

'Ho! Birch-Tree, won't you mind me? Bend and break! I tell you,' but all the Birch-Tree would do was bend. It bent to the ground; it bent double to please Old-Man, but it would not break.

'Blow harder, wind!' cried Old-Man, 'blow harder and break the Birch-Tree.' The wind tried to blow harder, but it couldn't, and that made the thing worse, because Old-Man was so angry he went crazy.
'Break! I tell you, break!' screamed Old-Man to the Birch-Tree.

'I won't break,' replied the Birch. 'I shall never break for any wind. I will bend, but I shall never, never break.'

'You won't, hey?' cried Old-Man, and he rushed at the Birch-Tree with his hunting-knife. He grabbed the top of the Birch because it was touching the ground, and began slashing the bark of the Birch-Tree with the knife. All up and down the trunk of the tree Old-Man slashed, until the Birch was covered with the knife slashes.

'There! that is for not minding me. That will do you good! As long as time lasts you shall always look like that, Birch-Tree; always be marked as one who will not mind its maker. Yes, and all the Birch-Trees in the world shall have the same marks forever.' They do, too. You have seen them and have wondered why the Birch-Tree is so strangely marked.

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Boy and the RattleSnake

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:A little boy was walking down a path and he came across a rattlesnake. The rattlesnake was getting old. He asked, "Please little boy, can you take me to the top of the mountain? I hope to see the sunset one last time before I die." The little boy answered "No Mr. Rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you'll bite me and I'll die." The rattlesnake said, "No, I promise. I won't bite you. Just please take me up to the mountain." The little boy thought about it and finally picked up that rattlesnake and took it close to his chest and carried it up to the top of the mountain.

They sat there and watched the sunset together. It was so beautiful. Then after sunset the rattlesnake turned to the little boy and asked, "Can I go home now? I am tired, and I am old." The little boy picked up the rattlesnake and again took it to his chest and held it tightly and safely. He came all the way down the mountain holding the snake carefully and took it to his home to give him some food and a place to sleep. The next day the rattlesnake turned to the boy and asked, "Please little boy, will you take me back to my home now? It is time for me to leave this world, and I would like to be at my home now." The little boy felt he had been safe all this time and the snake had kept his word, so he would take it home as asked.

He carefully picked up the snake, took it close to his chest, and carried him back to the woods, to his home to die. Just before he laid the rattlesnake down, the rattlesnake turned and bit him in the chest. The little boy cried out and threw the snake upon the ground. "Mr. Snake, why did you do that? Now I will surely die!" The rattlesnake looked up at him and grinned, "You knew what I was when you picked me up."

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Bremen Town Musicians

Intended for:Cub Scouts
Story:Once upon a time in a village so small that you can't even find it on a map there was a small farmhouse standing on the corner of a hay field. If you looked very carefully and squinted your eyes just a bit you would see that right next door to the house there was a wooden stable even tinier than the small farmhouse. In the stable there lived a donkey named Chanter.

Chanter had worked very hard and for many years. One day the farmer said to him that he should travel and see the world before the very sad day his eyes would close forever. The farmer patted him on his back, gave him a bag of corn, and wished him good luck. Chanter smiled and said goodbye to the farmer and began walking down the dusty road.

He was walking toward the famous city of Bremen where all of the finest musicians in the world lived. He thought he would become a singer. Chanter walked along the road for more than an hour. Suddenly a howl came up from the ground. He hadn't been looking where he was walking and had stepped right on the paws of dog!

The dog jumped up as fast as an old dog can jump. They looked at each other and Chanter quickly apologized for stepping on the dog's paw, as his hooves were quite large, much larger than paws. The old dog began to calm down and introduced himself as Anciano. They became friends and, since Anciano was a baritone, they decided to sing together and off they went to Bremen.

Later they came upon a strange mass of fur in the middle of the road. Anciano let out a growl and the ball of fur flew off the ground. Chanter dropped his bag of corn. But instead of corn, to everyone's amazement a dozen mice ran from the sack.

Someone was crying. It was a very old fat cat. She looked up at Chanter and Anciano and purred out her name: it was Songe. They told her that they were off to Bremen to sing. Her eyes began to glow and she asked if she could sing with them. They all became friends and walked close together. The more they talked to each other the closer they walked to each other until they thought that they must be the closest friends in the world.

It was almost dinnertime and they came across a farmhouse. Strutting back and forth on top of the barn was a rooster who looked so nervous they all thought he would fall off at any moment. He was making such a racket! They heard him saying that the farmer's wife had decided to put him in the soup! Chanter wailed.

Belemente Chanticleer was the rooster's name. He asked where they were going and, faster than a hen's beak can peck, decided to join them on the road. He told them that Bremen was still very far off and that they should find a place to sleep. Belemente Chanticleer told his friends that there was a house no more than an hour away and that a bright light was shining in the window so they would be able to find it in the dark.

None of them knew that the house they were approaching was full of robbers. They thought it was another farmhouse and made a plan. They would open the window and sing for their supper. They hoped that the farmer and his wife would think that their voices were so beautiful that they would be invited in for some dinner and be given a place to stay for the night.

They began to sing. "Ghosts!" cried the robbers. Out of the front door the robbers ran. They ran down the road until they could no longer be seen. Chanter, Anciano, Songe and Belemente Chanticleer looked into the house. Dinner was still on the table. They ate it all up! The friends were tired. Each found a spot and they curled up for the night.

One of the robbers didn't believe in ghosts. He said that they must have been chased out of their home not by ghosts but by other robbers! He crept back to the house to see what or who was there. He went into the dark cottage from the back door. He felt in his pockets and found some matches and bent down to light the fire on the glowing coals of the fireplace.

The coals were really Songe's eyes! Songe leapt up terrified and jumped onto his face. She pulled his ears with her nails and slapped his head with her tail. The robber couldn't see. He ran over Anciano who bit him on the leg. Chanter was scared and kept kicking the walls until Belemete Chantileer fell right off the house and cock-a-doodle-do'ed with all his might. It was only two minutes after the Robber had entered the house from the back door that he was running out of the front door as fast as his feet would carry him, crying out that he believed in ghosts after all! His friends all screamed and ran after him.

The following morning Belemente Chantileer woke everyone up. They had all slept very well. They looked at the empty house and walked around the empty garden. They thought it was a better place to live than Bremen, and that they could sing with each other. In fact, they all live there today. They are all very old and they are all very happy.

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Chief Red Jacket

Intended for:Cub Scouts
Notes:This is an interactive audience story.
Story:Depending on the size of your group, have each person memorize the actions for a part or have a group memorize the actions.
When the storyteller says the Capitalized word and pauses, the group does the action.


COWBOY: raises right fist and shouts "Yippee!"
HORSE: clap hands on knees and say "Neigh!"
CHIEF RED JACKET: says "Yip-yip!" and puts hand over brow, looking around.
MULE: "Hee Haw!"
RATTLESNAKE: "Rattle, Rattle!"
TIMBER WOLF: "Aaaw-woooooo!"
SHERIFF: "Bang! Bang! Bang!"
DEPUTY SHERIFF: "He went that away!" while pointing someplace


Once upon a time, there was a COWBOY who went out on the Mojave Desert riding his HORSE.

Far off in the distance he could hear a TIMBER WOLF. The COWBOY made camp and went fast asleep, after making sure his HORSE was secure.

Now, creeping along through the desert came CHIEF RED JACKET and his MULE. He was being pursued by the SHERIFF and the DEPUTY SHERIFF.

In his pocket, CHIEF RED JACKET had a trained RATTLESNAKE whose name was Emma. The RATTLESNAKE, Emma, was trained to creep up and bite the COWBOY and his HORSE.

While CHIEF RED JACKET crept up, the HORSE was afraid, the TIMBER WOLF howled, the COWBOY snored and the MULE was eating cactus.

In the meantime, the SHERIFF and the DEPUTY SHERIFF were almost ready to capture CHIEF RED JACKET.

Just as Emma, the RATTLESNAKE, was about to bite the COWBOY and his HORSE, the SHERIFF and the DEPUTY SHERIFF sprang their trap. "Halt!" shouted the SHERIFF.

The COWBOY woke up and mounted his HORSE. This frightened the TIMBER WOLF and also Emma, the RATTLESNAKE.

Away went old CHIEF RED JACKET on his faithful MULE, and away in pursuit went the SHERIFF and the DEPUTY SHERIFF, the COWBOY and his HORSE.

But old CHIEF RED JACKET led them into a blind canyon, so that was the last time anybody ever saw the COWBOY; his HORSE; Emma, the RATTLESNAKE; the TIMBER WOLF; the MULE; the SHERIFF; and the DEPUTY SHERIFF.

That’s all folks!

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Cricket and Cougar

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:Cougar is the mightiest of the animals in the forest.
Story:Cougar was walking in the forest, and he jumped onto a fallen log to look around. From inside the log came a tiny voice.

"Get off the roof of my lodge!" Out from the rotten end of the log came a tiny Cricket. "You are standing on the roof of my lodge, Cougar," said the little insect. "You must step off now, or the roof-pole will break and my lodge will fall in."

"Who are you to tell me what to do?" asked Cougar sternly, although he did step off the log. He lowered his head until his nose was very close to Cricket. "In this forest, I am the chief of the animals!"

"Chief or no Chief," said Cricket bravely, "I have a cousin who is mightier than you, and he would avenge me."

I don't believe you, little insect," snarled Cougar.

"Believe me or believe me not," said Cricket. "it is so."

"Let your cousin come to this place tomorrow, when the sun is high, and we will see who is the mightier," said Cougar. "If your cousin does not prove himself to me, I will crush you and your entire lodge with my paw!" Cougar turned and bounded off through the forest.

The next day, when the sun was high, Cougar came back along the same trail. He stopped over the log and called to cricket. "Cricket, come out! Let me meet your mighty cousin!"

Just then, a tiny mosquito flew up from the log and buzzed into the big cat's ear.

"What is this?" cried the cougar, who had never seen or heard a mosquito before. The mosquito began to bite the soft inner ear of the cougar, and drank from his blood. "Ahrr! Ahrr!" cried the cougar in pain, "Get out of my ear!" The cougar pawed at his ear, and ran around in a circle shaking his head. The mosquito bit him again and again.

Cricket came out of the log and called up to the cougar. "Are you ready to leave my lodge alone?"

Cougar said that he would so Mosquito came out of Cougar's ear and went into the log lodge with Cricket. Cougar ran off down the trail, and never went that way again.

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Falcon and the Duck

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:Do not exult too soon; nor is it wise to tell of your brave deeds within the hearing of your enemy.
Story:The wintry winds had already begun to whistle and the waves to rise when the Drake and his mate gathered their half- grown brood together on the shore of their far northern lake.
"Wife," said he, "it is now time to take the children southward, to the Warm Countries which they have never yet seen!"
Very early the next morning they set out on their long journey, forming a great "V" against the sky in their flight. The mother led her flock and the father brought up the rear, keeping a sharp lookout for stragglers.
All day they flew high in the keen air, over wide prairies and great forests of northern pine, until toward evening they saw below them a chain of lakes, glittering like a string of dark-blue stones.
Swinging round in a half circle, they dropped lower and lower, ready to alight and rest upon the smooth surface of the nearest lake.
Suddenly their leader heard a whizzing sound like that of a bullet as it cuts the air, and she quickly gave the waming: "Honk! honk! Danger, danger!" All descended in dizzy spirals, but as the great Falcon swooped toward them with upraised wing, the ducklings scattered wildly hither and thither. The old Drake came last, and it was he who was struck!
"Honk, honk!" cried all the Ducks in terror, and for a minute the air was full of soft downy feathers like flakes of snow. But the force of the blow was lost upon the well-cushioned body of the Drake, he soon got over his fright and went on his way southward with his family, while the Falcon dropped heavily to the water's edge with a broken wing.
There he stayed and hunted mice as best he could from day to day, sleeping at night in a hollow log to be out of the way of the Fox and the Weasel. All the wit he had was not too much whereby to keep himself alive through the long, hard winter.
Toward spring, however, the Falcon's wing had healed and he could fly a little, though feebly. The sun rose higher and higher in the blue heavens, and the Ducks began to return to their cool northern home. Every day a flock or two flew over the lake; but the Falcon dared not charge upon the flocks, much as he wished to do so. He was weak with hunger, and afraid to trust to the strength of the broken wing.
One fine day a chattering flock of Mallards alighted quite near him, cooling their glossy breasts upon the gently rippling wave.
"Here, children," boasted an old Drake, "is the very spot where your father was charged upon last autumn by a cruel Falcon! I can tell you that it took all my skill and quickness in dodging to save my life. Best of all, our fierce enemy dropped to the ground with a broken wing! Doubtless he is long since dead of starvation, or else a Fox or a Mink has made a meal of the wicked creature! "
By these words the Falcon knew his old enemy, and his courage returned.
"Nevertheless, I am still here!" he exclaimed, and darted like a flash upon the unsuspecting old Drake, who was resting and telling of his exploit and narrow escape with the greatest pride and satisfaction.
"Honk! honk! " screamed all the Ducks, and they scattered and whirled upward like the dead leaves in autumn; but the Falcon with sure aim selected the old Drake and gave swift chase. Round and round in dizzy spirals they swung together, till with a quick spurt the Falcon struck the shining, outstretched neck of the other, and snapped it with one powerful blow of his reunited wing.

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Falling Rock

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:An Indian chief, Rising Sun, was concerned with how white men were expanding across the forests, plains, and mountains. His tribe was very small, but as every tribe and nation was being overpowered and sent to reservations, he came up with a plan to save the People.
His son, Falling Rock, was a strong, intelligent, and trustworthy young man and Rising Sun loved him very much. Rising Sun asked Falling Rock to travel across the whole of the country and talk to every tribe he met. He was to convince them to join forces and repel the invasion of the white men.
Falling Rock left in the spring with 4 other braves.

When the leaves fell in late summer, one brave returned to Rising Sun to tell him that they had contacted all the tribes in the desert SouthWest.
When the snow began, another brave returned telling of their success with the Great Lakes tribes.
A third brave arrived home just as the spring flowers bloomed and told how the strong tribes of the Rocky Mountains were ready.
Finally, the last brave returned in high summer from the Eastern tribes with their promise to fight. This last brave also said that Falling Rock was now racing back to all the tribes, telling them to meet at the Mississippi river in the spring for the great war.

Rising Sun's small tribe prepared for battle and, when the snow melted, they traveled to the Mississippi. They waited there through spring and summer, but no other warriors arrived. At the end of summer, Rising Sun sent braves out in all directions to track down Falling Rock while the tribe waited.
By snowfall, all the warriors had reached the other tribes and returned to Rising Sun. All the tribes had waited to hear when the war was to take place, but Falling Rock had not been seen by any of them so they had stayed put. This worried Rising Sun terribly since he loved his son and missed him terribly.

The small tribe was forced to wait there through the harsh winter and when spring arrived, so did the white soldiers. They surrounded Rising Sun's tribe. Rising Sun knew they could never win without the other tribes so he talked to the leader of the soldiers.

Rising Sun promised to go peacefully to a reservation if the white men would promise to help him find his lost son. This was a small price for avoiding a fight so the white men agreed and Rising Sun's tribe did not resist.

To this day, Rising Sun waits for his son to return. And, to this day, the white men have held up their end of bargain struck that day. People across the country are still searching and everyone is asked to help. That is why you will see signs along the road that say, "Watch for Falling Rock".




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Field Mouse and Buffalo

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:If you are proud and selfish you will lose all in the end.
Story:Once upon a time, when the Field-Mouse was out gathering wild beans for the winter, his neighbor, the Buffalo, came down to graze in the meadow. This the little Mouse did not like, for he knew that the other would mow down all the long grass with his prickly tongue, and there would be no place in which to hide. He made up his mind to offer battle like a man.

'Ho, Friend Buffalo, I challenge you to a fight!' he exclaimed in a small, squeaking voice.

The Buffalo paid no attention, thinking it only a joke. The Mouse angrily repeated the challenge, and still his enemy went on quietly grazing. Then the little Mouse laughed with contempt as he offered his defiance. The Buffalo at last looked at him and replied carelessly, 'You had better keep still, little one, or I shall come over there and step on you, and there will be nothing left!'

'You can't do it!' replied the Mouse.

'I tell you to keep still,' insisted the Buffalo, who was getting angry. 'If you speak to me again, I shall certainly come and put an end to you!'

'I dare you to do it!' said the Mouse, provoking him.

Thereupon the other rushed upon him. He trampled the grass clumsily and tore up the earth with his front hoofs. When he had ended, he looked for the Mouse, but he could not see him anywhere.

'I told you I would step on you, and there would be nothing left,' he muttered.

Just then he felt a scratching inside his right ear. He shook his head as hard as he could, and twitched his ears back and forth. The gnawing went deeper and deeper until he was half wild with the pain. He pawed with his hoofs and tore up the sod with his horns. Bellowing madly, he ran as fast as he could, first straight forward and then in circles, but at last he stopped and stood trembling. Then the Mouse jumped out of his ear,and said, 'Will you know now that I am master?'

'No!' bellowed the Buffalo, and again he started toward the Mouse, as if to trample him under his feet. The little fellow was nowhere to be seen, but in a minute the Buffalo felt him in the other ear. Once more he became wild with pain, and ran here and there over the prairie, at times leaping high in the air. At last he fell to the ground and lay quite still. The Mouse came out of his ear, and stood proudly upon his dead body.

'Eho!' said he, 'I have killed the greatest of all beasts. This will show to all that I am master!'

Standing upon the body of the dead Buffalo, he called loudly for a knife with which to dress his game. In another part of the meadow, Red Fox, very hungry, was hunting mice for his breakfast. He saw one and jumped upon him with all four feet, but the little mouse got away, and he was terribly disappointed.

All at once he thought he heard a distant call, 'Bring a knife! Bring a knife !'

When the call came, Red Fox started in the direction of the sound. By and by he came upon the huge body of the Buffalo lying upon the ground. The little Mouse still stood upon the body.

'I want you to dress this Buffalo for me and I will give you some of the meat,' commanded the Mouse.

'Thank you, my friend, I shall be glad to do this for you,' he replied politely.

The Fox dressed the Buffalo, while the Mouse sat upon a mound near by, looking on and giving his orders. 'You must cut the meat into small pieces,' he said to the Fox.

When the Fox had finished his work, the Mouse paid him with a small piece of liver. He swallowed it quickly and smacked his lips. 'Please, may I have another piece?' he asked quite humbly.

'Why, I gave you a very large piece! How greedy you are!' exclaimed the Mouse. 'You may have some of the blood,' he sneered. So the poor Fox took the blood and even licked off the grass. He was really very hungry.

'Please may I take home a piece of the meat?' he begged. 'I have six little fox at home, and there is nothing for them to eat.'

'You can take the four feet of the Buffalo. That ought to be enough for all of you!'

'Thank you, thank you!' said the Fox. 'But, Mouse, I have a wife also, and we have had bad luck in hunting. We are almost starved. Can't you spare me a little more?'

'Why,' declared the Mouse, 'I have already overpaid you for the little work you have done. Be gone!'

Thereupon the Fox jumped upon the Mouse, who gave one faint squeak and was no more.

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Finger Rock Trail Ghost

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:As reported by a volunteer for the Southern Arizona Rescue Association. 
In all my years of reporting on the outdoors, no story stands out as clearly as this one. 
Perhaps it's because I was in charge of the rescue team the ghost 'summoned.'  
Perhaps it's because I still believe there's only one way the lost hiker negotiated that steep series of cliffs, on a moonless night, about a dozen years ago. 
 
They had received a call to look for a lost hiker on Finger Rock Trail, a popular area just north of Tucson. 
 
The hiker had very little experience, no food, water, or warm clothes. My search team found him early the next morning. He was confused, dazed, actually mad at the friends that left him behind, and standing unharmed at the base of some of the area's steepest terrain. He was nowhere near the trail he had wandered away from the day before. 
 
He explained his older brother found him the night before, just as it was really getting cold, leading him down the treacherous cliffs in the dark without flashlights, and complaining the whole way about brothers who borrow clothes without asking. At dawn his brother 'disappeared to get help.' 
 
We arrived shortly thereafter, and as we collected an extremely detailed description of his brother to forward to other rescue teams still in the field, he said: 'I don't know why he came back? He's been dead for five years you know.' 

This is a true story, and just as real as the chills it still sends down my spine.

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Fire Tail

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Very long ago, a band of Indians was drying deer meat in the sun. They thought how wonderful it would be to have a small sun to dry the meat better and keep them warm when the big sun set in the evening and it got cold.
Of course, they were only dreaming because such a thing would take power and magic, more than their most powerful magicman possessed.

But, as the People talked, a tiny bird chirped loudly in a tree above them. The People saw the bird had a very bright red tail that flickered even while it was sitting still.

An elder who could speak to animals asked, "What do you want, little bird?"
"Wise One, I do not want, but I bring what you wish for. My tail has a thing called Fire. It is hot like the sun and will comfort you when the winter wind blows, cook your meat, and give you light when the sun is gone."

The elder said, "Thank you, little bird. Bring me your fire so I can share it with the People."

"It is not that easy," replied the bird. "Have the People gather here in the morning to receive fire. Tell each one to bring a dry branch with pine pitch on it."

Then, the bird quickly flew away.

The elder told the People what the bird had said. He also said, "We should do what the bird says, for it will bring us much good fortune."

So, when the sun rose again, all the People were gathered, each holding a pine pitch branch. A loud chirping in the tree above told them the bird had appeared.

The bird talked to them in a voice that all could understand, "The first to catch up to me will be given my fire. But, only if that person does what is right, has patience, and does not lose courage. Follow me!"

The bird flew off quickly with the People chasing behind. It flew over rough ground and thick forest, across streams and marshes. Many people could not keep the pace and gave up. They said, "It is too hard! Too fast! Too difficult! Too dangerous!" as they stopped their chase.

Finally, a young brave got close to the bird and called, "Give me your fire, little bird, so I can get back to more important matters."

"No," replied the bird, "You have no patience. You shall have no fire."

Then, a second brave got close to the bird and called, "Give me your fire, little bird, so I will be the most powerful of the People. I have followed you far and have done no wrong."

"No," replied the bird, "You think only of yourself and that is bad. You shall have no fire."

The bird looked back and saw that it was no longer being followed so it settled to a branch in a tree to rest. It saw a woman on the ground nursing an old man that appeared very sick and cold.
The bird said, "Bring a pine branch and I will give you Fire to keep that man warm and cook your food."

The womman said, "Thank you, little bird, but I must stay with my friend. I do not deserve a magic gift. I am only doing what is right, what my inner voice tells me needs to be done. And, I must stay with this sick man to help him for as long as needed."

"You think first of others, so you deserve this gift which you can share with the People," explained the bird. "Bring a stick so you can help this man."

So, the womman quickly brought a branch and the bird lit it from its flickering tail. The woman built a fire and kept her friend warm through the night. In the morning, he was better so they returned to the village and brought Fire with them. Since that time, the People have had Fire.

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First Flute

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:The flute of the Lakota, the siyotanka, is for only one kind of music, love music. In the old days the men would sit by themselves, maybe lean hidden, unseen, against a tree in the dark of night. They would make up their own special tunes, their courting songs.
Even if he was a warrior who had already counted coup on a enemy, a young man might hardly screw up courage enough to talk to a nice-looking winchinchala- a girl he was in love with. Also, there was no place where a young man and a girl could be alone inside the village. The family tipi was always crowded with people. And naturally, you couldn't just walk out of the village with your girl. Out there in the tall grass and sagebrush you could be gored by a buffalo, clawed by a grizzly, or tomahawked by a Pawnee, or you could run into the Mila Hanska, the Long Knives.
The only chance you had to meet your winchinchala was to wait for her at daybreak when the women went to the river or brook with their skin bags to get water. When that girl you had your eye on finally came down to the water trail, you popped up from behind some bush and stood so she could see you. And that was about all you could do to show her that you were interested, Standing there grinning, looking at your moccasins, scratching your ear, maybe.
The winchinchala didn't do much either, except get red in the face, giggle, maybe throw a wild turnip at you. If she liked you, the only way she would let you know was to take her time filling her water bag and peek at you a few times over her shoulder.
So the flutes did all the talking. At night, lying on her buffalo robe in her parents tipi, the girl would hear that moaning, crying sound of the siyotanka. By the way it was played, she would know that it was her lover who was out there someplace. And if the Elk Medicine was very strong in him and her, maybe she would sneak out to follow that sound and meet him without anybody noticing it.
The flute is always made of cedar wood. In the shape it describes the long neck and head of a bird with a open beak. The sound comes out of the beak, and that's where the legend comes in, the legend of how the Lakota people acquired the flute.


Once many generations ago, the people had drums, gourd rattles, and bull-roarers, but no flutes. At that long-ago time a young man went out to hunt. Meat was scarce, and the people in his camp were hungry. He found the tracks of an Elk and followed them for a long time. The Elk, wise and swift, is the one who owns the love charm. If a man possesses Elk Medicine, the girl he likes can't help coming to him. He will also be a lucky hunter. This young man I'm talking about had no Elk Medicine. After many hours he finally sighted his game. He was skilled with bow and arrows, and had a fine new bow and a quiver full of straight, well-feathered, flint-tipped arrows. Yet the Elk always managed to stay just out of range, leading him on and on. The young man was so intent on following his prey that he hardly noticed where he went.

When night came, he found himself deep inside a thick forest. The tracks had disappeared and so had the Elk, and there was no moon. He realized that he was lost and that it was too dark to find his way out. Luckily he came upon a stream with cool, clear water. And he had been careful enough to bring a hide bag of wasna, dried meat pounded with berries and kidney fat, strong food that will keep a man going for a few days. After he had drunk and eaten, he rolled himself into his fur robe, propped his back against a tree, and tried to rest.

But he couldn't sleep, the forest was full of strange noises, and the cries of night animals, the hooting owls, the groaning of trees in the wind. It was as if he heard these sounds for the first time. Suddenly there was a entirely new sound, of a kind neither he nor anyone else had ever heard before. It was mournful and ghost like. It made him afraid, so that he drew his robe tightly about himself and reached for his bow to make sure that it was properly strung. On the other hand, the sound was like a song, sad but beautiful, full of love, hope, and yearning.

Then before he knew it, he was asleep. He dreamed that the bird called wagnuka, the redheaded woodpecker, appeared singing the strangely beautiful song and telling him, "Follow me and I will teach you."

When the hunter awoke, the sun was already high. On a branch of the tree against which he was leaning, he saw a redheaded woodpecker. The bird flew away to another tree, and another, but never very far, looking back all the time at the young man as if to say, "Come on!" Then once more he heard that wonderful song, and his heart yearned to find the singer. Flying toward the sound, leading the hunter, the bird flitted through the leaves, while its bright red top made easy to follow.

At last it lighted on a cedar tree and began hammering on a branch, making a noise like the fast beating of a small drum. Suddenly there was a gust of wind, and again the hunter heard that beautiful sound right above him. Then he discovered that the song came from the dead branch that the woodpecker was tapping his beak. He realized also that it was the wind which made the sound as it whistled through the hole the bird had drilled. "Kola, friend," said the hunter, "let me take this branch home. You can make yourself another."

He took the branch, a hollow piece of wood full of woodpecker holes that was about the length of his forearm. He walked back to his village bringing no meat, but happy all the same. In his tipi the young man tried to make the branch sing for him. He blew on it, he waved it around, no sound came. It made him sad, he wanted so much to hear that wonderful new sound. He purified himself in the sweat lodge and climbed to the top of a lonely hill. There, resting with his back against a large rock, he fasted, going without food or water for four days and nights, crying for a vision which would tell him how to make the branch sing.

In the middle of the fourth night, wagnuka, the bird with the bright red top, appeared, saying, "Watch me." Turning himself into a man, he showed the hunter how to make the branch sing, saying again and again, "Watch this, now." And in his dream the young man watched and observed very carefully. When he awoke, he found a cedar tree. He broke off a branch and, working many hours, hollowed it out with a bowstring drill, just as he had seen the woodpecker do in his dream. He whittled the branch into the shape of the birds with a long neck and a open beak. He painted the top of the birds head with washasha, the sacred red color. He prayed. He smoked the branch up with incense of burning sage, cedar, and sweet grass. He fingered the holes as he had seen the man-bird do in his vision, meanwhile blowing softly into the mouthpiece.

All at once there was the song, ghost like and beautiful beyond words drifting all the way to the village, where the people were astounded and joyful to hear it. With the help of the wind and the woodpecker, the young man had brought them the first flute.

In the village lived an itanchan, a big chief. This itanchan had a daughter who was beautiful but also very proud, and convinced that there was no young man good enough for her. Many had come courting, but she had sent them all away. Now, the hunter who had made the flute decided that she was just the woman for him. Thinking of her he composed a special song, and one night, standing behind a tall tree, he played it on his siyotanka in hopes that it might have a charm to make her love him.

All at once the winchinchala heard it. She was sitting in her fathers tipi, eating buffalo hump meat and tongue, feeling good. She wanted to stay there, in the tipi by the fire, but her feet wanted to go outside. She pulled back, but her feet pulled forward, and the feet won. Her head said, "Go slow, go slow!" but the feet said, "Faster, faster!" She saw the young man standing in the moonlight, she heard the flute. Her head said, "Dont go to him, he's poor." Her feet said, "Go, run!" and again the feet prevailed. So they stood face to face. The girl's head told her to be silent, but the feet told her to speak, and speak she did, saying, "Koshkalaka, young man, I am yours altogether." Later she told him, "Koshkalaka, warrior, I like you. Let your parents send a gift to my father, the chief. No matter how small, it will be accepted. Let your father speak for you to my father. Do it soon! Do it now!"

And so the two fathers quickly agreed to the wishes of their children. The proud winchinchala became the hunter's wife, and he himself became a great chief. All the other young men had heard and seen. Soon they too began to whittle cedar branches into the shape of birds heads with long necks and open beaks. The beautiful love music traveled from tribe to tribe, and made young girls feet go where they shouldn't. And that's how the flute was brought to the people, thanks to the cedar, the woodpecker, and this young man, who shot no Elk, but knew how to listen.

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First Mocassins

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:There was once a great chief on the Plains who had very tender feet. Other mighty chiefs laughed at him; little chiefs only smiled as he hobbled past; and though they did not dare to smile, the people of the tribe also enjoyed the big chief's discomfort.

All of them were in the same canoe, having no horses and only bare feet, but luckily very few of them had tender feet. The unhappy medicine man who was advisor to the Chief-of-the-Tender-Feet was afraid and troubled. Each time he was called before the chief he was asked, 'What are you going to do about it?' The 'it' meant the chief's tender feet. Forced by fear, the medicine man at last hit upon a plan.

Though he knew that it was not the real answer to the chief's foot problem, nevertheless it was a good makeshift. The medicine man had some women of the tribe weave a long, narrow mat of reeds, and when the big chief had to go anywhere, four braves unrolled the mat in front of him so that he walked in comfort.

One day, the braves were worn out from seeing that the chief's feet were not worn out. They carelessly unrolled the mat over a place where flint arrowheads had been chipped. The arrowheads had long ago taken flight, but the needle-sharp chips remained. When the big chief's tender feet were wounded by these chips, he uttered a series of whoops which made the nearby aspen tree leaves quiver so hard that they have been trembling ever since.

That night the poor medicine man was given an impossible task by the angry chief: 'Cover the whole earth with mats so thick that my feet will not suffer. If you fail, you will die when the moon is round.' The frightened maker of magic crept back to his lodge. He did not wish to be put to death on the night of the full moon, but he could think of no way to avoid it. Suddenly he saw the hide of an elk which he had killed pegged to the ground, with two women busily scraping the hair from the hide, and an idea flashed into his groping mind. He sent out many hunters; many women were busy for many days; many braves with hunting knives cut, and women sewed with bone needles and rawhide sinews.

On the day before the moon was round, the medicine man went to the chief and told him that he had covered as much of the earth as was possible in so short a time. When the chief looked from the door of his lodge, he saw many paths of skin stretching as far as he could see. Long strips which could be moved from place to place connected the main leather paths. Even the chief thought that this time the magic of the medicine man had solved tenderfoot transportation for all time - but this was not to be !

One day, as the big chief was walking along one of his smooth, tough leather paths, he saw a pretty maiden of the tribe gliding ahead of him, walking on the hard earth on one side of the chief's pathway. She glanced back when she heard the pitter patter of his feet on the elk hide pathway and seemed to smile. The chief set off on the run to catch up with her, his eyes fixed on the back of She-Who-Smiled, and so his feet strayed from the narrow path and landed in a bunch of needle-sharp thorns! The girl ran for her life when she heard the hideous howls of the chief, and Indians in the distant village thought that they were being attacked by wildcats.

Two suns later, when the chief was calm enough to speak again, he had his medicine man brought before him and told the unhappy man that next day, when the sun was high, he would be sent with all speed to the land of shadows.

That night, the medicine man climbed to the top of a high hill in search of advice from friendly spirits on how to cover the entire earth with leather. He slept, and in a dream vision he was shown the answer to his problem. Amid vivid flashes of lightning, he tore down the steep hillside, howling louder than the big chief at times, as jagged rocks wounded his bare feet and legs. He did not stop until he was safely inside his lodge.

He worked all night and until the warriors who were to send him on the shadow trail came for him, just before noon the next day. He was surrounded by the war-club armed guards. He was clutching close to his heart something tightly rolled in a piece of deerskin. His cheerful smile surprised those who saw him pass. 'Wah, he is brave!' said the men of the tribe. 'He is very brave!' said the women of the tribe.

The big chief was waiting just outside his lodge. He gave the guards swift, stern orders. Before the maker of magic could be led away, he asked to say a few words to the chief. 'Speak!' said the chief, sorry to lose a clever medicine man who was very good at most kinds of magic. Even the chief knew that covering the entire earth with leather was an impossible task.

The medicine man quickly knelt beside the chief, unrolled the two objects which he took from his bundle and slipped one of them on each foot of the chief. The chief seemed to be wearing a pair of bear's hairless feet, instead of bare feet, and he was puzzled at first as he looked at the elk hide handicraft of his medicine man. 'Big chief,' the medicine man exclaimed joyfully, 'I have found the way to cover the earth with leather! For you, O chief, from now on the earth will always be covered with leather.' And so it was.

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Four Magic Arrowheads

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:There was once a young man who wanted to go on a journey. His mother provided him with sacks of dried meat and pairs of moccasins, but his father said to him:
"Here, my son, are four magic arrows. When you are in need, shoot one of them!"

The young man went forth alone, and hunted in the forest for many days. Usually he was successful, but a day came when he was hungry and could not find meat. Then he sent forth one of the magic arrows, and at the end of the day there lay a fat Bear with the arrow in his side. The hunter cut out the tongue for his meal, and of the body of the Bear he made a thank-offering to the Great Mystery.

Again he was in need, and again in the morning he shot a magic arrow, and at nightfall beside his campfire he found an Elk lying with the arrow in his heart. Once more he ate the tongue and offered up the body as a sacrifice. The third time he killed a Moose with his arrow, and the fourth time a Buffalo.

After the fourth arrow had been spent, the young man came one day out of the forest, and before him there lay a great circular village of skin lodges. At one side, and some little way from the rest of the people, he noticed a small and poor tent where an old couple lived all alone. At the edge of the wood he took off his clothes and hid them in a hollow tree. Then, touching the top of his head with his staff, he turned himself into a little ragged boy and went toward the poor tent.

The old woman saw him coming, and said to her old man: "Old man, let us keep this little boy for our own! He seems to be a fine, bright-eyed little fellow, and we are all alone."

"What are you thinking of, old woman?" grumbled the old man. "We can hardly keep ourselves, and yet you talk of taking in a ragged little scamp from nobody knows where!"

In the meantime the boy had come quite near, and the old wife beckoned to him to enter the lodge.

"Sit down, my grandson, sit down!" she said, kindly; and, in spite of the old man's black looks, she handed him a small dish of parched corn, which was all the food they had.

The boy ate and stayed on. By and by he said to the old woman: "Grandmother, I should like to have grandfather make me some arrows!"

"You hear, my old man?" said she. "It will be very well for you to make some little arrows for the boy."

"And why should I make arrows for a strange little ragged boy?" grumbled the old man.

However, he made two or three, and the boy went hunting. In a short time he returned with several small birds. The old woman took them and pulled off the feathers, thanking him and praising him as she did so. She quickly made the little birds into soup, of which the old man ate gladly, and with the soft feathers she stuffed a small pillow.

"You have done well, my grandson!" he said; for they were really very poor.

Not long after, the boy said to his adopted grandmother: "Grandmother, when you see me at the edge of the wood yonder, you must call out: 'A Bear! there goes a Bear!' "

This she did, and the boy again sent forth one of the magic arrows, which he had taken from the body of his game and kept by him. No sooner had he shot, than he saw the same Bear that he had offered up, lying before him with the arrow in his side!

Now there was great rejoicing in the lodge of the poor old couple. While they were out skinning the Bear and cutting the meat in thin strips to dry, the boy sat alone in the lodge. In the pot on the fire was the Bear's tongue, which he wanted for himself.

All at once a young girl stood in the doorway. She drew her robe modestly before her face as she said in a low voice: "I come to borrow the mortar of your grandmother!"

The boy gave her the mortar, and also a piece of the tongue which he had cooked, and she went away.

When all of the Bear meat was gone, the boy sent forth a second arrow and killed an Elk, and with the third and fourth he shot the Moose and the Buffalo as before, each time recovering his arrow.

Soon after, he heard that the people of the large village were in trouble. A great Red Eagle, it was said, flew over the village every day at dawn, and the people believed that it was a bird of evil omen, for they no longer had any success in hunting. None of their braves had been able to shoot the Eagle, and the chief had offered his only daughter in marriage to the man who should kill it.

When the boy heard this, he went out early the next morning and lay in wait for the Red Eagle. At the touch of his magic arrow, it fell at his feet, and the boy pulled out his arrow and went home without speaking to any one.

But the thankful people followed him to the poor little lodge, and when they had found him, they brought the chief's beautiful daughter to be his wife - she was the girl who had come to borrow his grandmother's mortar!

Then he went back to the hollow tree where his clothes were hidden, and came back a handsome young man, richly dressed for his wedding.

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Ghost of Able Fable

Intended for:Cub Scouts
Story:Able Fable was a miserable old man, who was always worried that someone would break into his house and steal all his money. Each night before he would go to sleep, he would lock his wallet up in a safe located near his bed so that if anyone were to try to rob him they would have to wake him up to do it. Unfortunately, on the night that Able died he had only placed the wallet on the table near the safe without locking it up. Before his death, Able said to his family and friends that none of them were to touch his home or his money and he said that anyone who came near his safe and wallet would be greeted by his ghost and be scared away. Following Able's death the family decided that the money in the Fable house was not doing any good if not used, so they went into the home to get it.
Able's oldest son decided to make the first attempt. He opened the door and went in, he saw Able's wallet on the table and reached for it. Immediately he heard a voice say:
"I am the ghost of Able Fable, put the money back on the table!"
The voice scared the son so much that he ran from the room and out the door, screaming: "I heard the voice of a ghost!"
The oldest daughter in disbelief decided she would make her way into Able's room. She entered and reached for the wallet.
She then heard the voice say: "I am the ghost of Able Fable, put the money back on the table!"
The daughter was so scared that she dropped the wallet and ran from the room screaming: "I heard the voice of a ghost!"
The youngest son decided to make his attempt at getting the money. When he entered the room and reached for the wallet he also heard the voice say: "I am the ghost of Able Fable, put the money back on the table!"
The youngest son decided that he was not easily scared and said back: "Well, I am the ghost of Davey Crockett and the money is going to stay in my pocket!"

The youngest son took all the money for his own and the ghost of Able Fable was never heard from again!

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Ghost with One Black Eye

Intended for:Cub Scouts
Notes:Quite a few different versions of this and it is similar to 'Ghost of Able Fable'.
Could be done as a skit.
Story:My great-grandfather ran a hotel downtown back in the days when people were tough and times were hard. Folks traveling through town would need a place to wash off the road dust, eat, and sleep a spell. His hotel turned a nice little profit and many nights during the summer, every room would be filled - that is every room except one!

As the story goes, this one room was haunted. Seems that way back when the hotel was first built a man got in a fight over a girl down in the bar. He took a tremendous left cross right in his left eye and it knocked him out - just one punch. Folks hauled him up to his room to sleep it off, but he never woke up - died right there in the room.

Since then, no one was able to sleep in that room cause of the ghost. One day, a barmaid needed a room.
Grandpappy said, "Sorry, miss, I've only got one room left and its haunted."
"That's ok, I'll take it," replied the barmaid.
While getting ready for bed, she heard, "I'm the ghost with one black eye. I'm the ghost with one black eye."
Scared the bejeebers out of her! She ran downstairs in her nightgown, right out the front door, and was never seen again.

A few years later, a cowboy rented the room. Grandpappy said it was haunted, but he said, "Shoot Heck, pardner, I rope bulls and don't spit out my chaw juice. I ain't afeared of no ghost."
But, as he was taking a bath, he heard, "I'm the ghost with one black eye. I'm the ghost with one black eye."
That cowboy gulped, choked on his chaw, his face turned purple, his eyes bulged out, he jumped out of the bath, wrapped in a towel, and skidaddled out of town like a jackrabbit across the prairie.

The room sat vacant for more years until a U.S. Marshal drove into town in a new fangled automobile instead of on a horse. He asked Grandpappy for a room, but this was the busy season and guess what - there was only one room left and Grandpappy explained it was haunted.
"That's just fine," said the Marshal. "I've killed 37 men, been shot 12 times, bit by a rattlesnake twice, and gargle with turpentine every morning. I'm not too concerned about some silly ghost."
So, he went up to his room. But, no sooner had he closed the door when he heard, "I'm the ghost with one black eye. I'm the ghost with one black eye."
He turned and smashed right through the door, leaped the entire flight of stairs, picked up his automobile, and ran out of town screaming and hollering at the top of his lungs.

[Make up any number of characters, getting tougher each time...]

A couple years after that, in the early 1900s, a family was passing through town on a family vacation. Any idea how many rooms were left?
NOPE - there were TWO rooms left!
But, the mother and father wanted their own room and their young son could have his own. Grandpappy told them about the ghost, but the boy just said, "Wow! A REAL GHOST? Cool!"

The mom and dad went to their room and the boy opened his up. He took a bath, got ready for bed, and hopped in. Just then, he heard, "I'm the ghost with one black eye. I'm the ghost with one black eye."
And, the boy hollered back, "Well, I'm a Cub Scout and you don't scare me! If you don't shut up, you're gonna be the ghost with TWO black eyes!"

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Girl Who Climbed to the Sky

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:One morning, several young women went out from their tepee village to gather firewood. Among them was Sapana, the most beautiful girl in the village, and it was she who first saw the porcupine sitting at the foot of a tall cottonwood tree. She called to the others: "Help me catch this porcupine, and I will divide its quills among you."

The porcupine started climbing the cottonwood, but the tree's limbs were close to the ground and Sapana easily followed. "Hurry," she cried. "It is climbing up. We must have its quills to embroider our moccasins." She tried to hit the porcupine with a stick, but the animal climbed just out of her reach.

"Sapana, you are too high up," one of her friends called from the ground. "You should come back down."

But the girl kept climbing, and it seemed that the tree kept extending itself toward the sky. When she neared the top of the cottonwood, she saw something above her, solid like a wall, but shining. It was the sky. Suddenly she found herself in the midst of a camp circle. The treetop had vanished, and the porcupine had transformed himself into an ugly man.

Sapana did not like the looks of the porcupine-man, but he spoke kindly to her and led her to a tepee where his father and mother lived. "I have watched you from afar," he told her. "You are not only beautiful but industrious. We must work very hard here, and I want you to become my wife."

The porcupine-man put her to work that very day, scraping and stretching buffalo hides and making robes. When evening came, the girl went outside the tepee and sat by herself wondering how she was ever to get back home. Everything in the sky world was brown and grey, and she missed the green trees and green grass of earth.

Each day the porcupine-man went out to hunt, bringing back buffalo hides for Sapana to work on, and in the morning while he was away she had to dig for wild turnips. "When you dig for roots," the porcupine-man warned her, "take care not to dig too deep."

One morning, she found an unusually large turnip. With great difficulty, she managed to pry it loose with her digging stick. When she pulled it up she was surprised to find that it left a hole through which she could look down upon the green earth. Far below she saw rivers, mountains, circles of tepees, and people walking about.

Sapana knew now why the porcupine-man had warned her not to dig too deep. She did not want him to know that she had found the hole in the sky so she carefully replaced the turnip and thought of a plan to escape. Almost every day the porcupine-man brought buffalo hides for her to scrape and soften and make into robes. In making the robes there were always strips of sinew left over, and she kept these strips concealed beneath her bed.

At last, Sapana believed that she had enough sinew strips to make a rope long enough to reach the earth. One morning after the porcupine-man went out to hunt, she tied all the strips together and returned to the place where she had found the large turnip. She lifted it out and dug the hole wider so that her body would go through. She laid her digging stick across the opening and tied one end of the sinew rope to the middle of it. Then she tied the other end of the rope about herself under her arms. Slowly she began lowering herself by uncoiling the rope. A long time passed before she was far enough down to be able to see the tops of the trees clearly, and then she came to the end of her rope. She had not made it long enough to reach the ground. She did not know what to do.

She hung there for a long time, swinging back and forth above the trees trying to figure out what to do. Then, she heard sounds from above and the rope began to shake violently. A stone hurtled down from the sky, barely missing her, and then she heard the porcupine-man threatening to kill her if she did not climb back up the rope. Another stone whizzed by her ear.

About this time, Buzzard began circling around below her. "Come and help me," she called to Buzzard. The bird glided under her feet several times, and Sapana told him all that had happened to her.

"Get on my back," Buzzard said, "and I will take you down to earth."

She stepped on to the bird's back. "Are you ready?" Buzzard asked.

"Yes," she replied.

"Let go of the rope," Buzzard ordered. He began descending with Sapana clinging to his neck, but the girl was too heavy for him, and he began gliding earthward too fast. He saw Hawk flying below him. "Hawk," he called, "help me take this girl back to her people."

Hawk flew with Sapana on his back until she could see the tepee of her family clearly below. But then Hawk began to tire, and Buzzard had to take the girl on his back again. Buzzard flew on, dropping quickly through the trees and landing just outside the girl's village. Before she could thank him, Buzzard flew back into the sky.

Sapana was weak and exhausted and she saw a girl coming toward her. "Sapana!" the girl cried. "We thought you were dead." The girl helped her walk to the village.

Sapana told everyone her story, especially of the kindness shown her by Buzzard and Hawk. After that, whenever the people of her tribe went on a big hunt they always left one buffalo for Buzzard and Hawk to eat.

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Gloop Maker
A Favorite Story

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:There once was a sailor returning to his ship. Just as he approached the edge of the dock, he slipped and fell into the water between ship and dockside. As he hit the water, the ship began to swing toward the harbor wall, and he would have been crushed to death had not a little man, with great presence of mind, thrown a rope and hauled him to safety.

'Whew, thanks!' said the sailor. 'You saved my life. Tell me, is there anything I can do for you in return?'

'Well actually,' said the man, 'there is something. I'd dearly like to work aboard ship and, in fact, I was just on my way to look for a job when I saw you in the water. If you could put in a word for me. I'd be greatly obliged.'

'Done!' said the sailor. He took the little man on board and tracked down the Petty Officer. 'This man saved my life just now, and he really would very much like to have a job on the ship.'

'Well, I don't know,' said the Petty Officer. 'We have a full ship's complement, but I'll certainly put in a word on his behalf to my superior. What does he do?'

'I'm a Gloop Maker,' said the little man eagerly.

Not wishing to appear ignorant in front of his subordinate, the Petty Officer didn't want to ask what exactly a Gloop Maker was, so he went to see the Chief Petty Officer.

'This man saved the life of one of my seamen,' he told the Chief. 'Do you think we could find him a job aboard? He's a Gloop Maker.'

Not wishing to appear ignorant in front of his subordinate, the Chief Petty Officer asked the Warrant Officer, who asked the Sub-Lieutenant and so on, all the way through the chain of command until the request reached the Captain. After congratulating the little man, the Captain, not wanting to appear ignorant, named him ship's Gloop Maker and ordered the Supply Officer to provide whatever materials were necessary for work to commence.

The little man asked for a strong block and tackle fitted up on the afterdeck, a small stool, a hammer and chisel, a portable furnace, a big lump of iron, a few pounds of copper and several more of silver.

As the ship sailed, the little man set his stool alongside the chunk of iron, lit the furnace and began to melt down the copper and silver. Then, with much hammering and chiseling, he began to add blobs of copper and curlicues of silver to the sides of the lump of iron.

Each day crewmembers stopped and stared at the wondrously strange thing taking shape at the ship's stern. But not wishing to appear ignorant, nobody asked the Gloop Maker what he actually was making.

'Coming along nicely,' said the captain as he made his daily rounds. 'Any idea precisely when it will be :ah: ready?'

'Oh yes,' said the man. 'On July 15 at 14:00hours. That's when it'll be ready, and I'd like the crew assembled on deck at that hour, if you please, sir.'

And so, the great day came, the men assembled and the Gloop Maker put down his hammer and chisel. Proudly he stood back and indicated that the block and tackle should be lowered onto his masterpiece, whose copper and silver curlicues gleamed in the sun. Carefully he directed it to be lifted from the deck and swung round until it hung over the sea at the ship's stern.

'Ready, steady, go!' he cried, and he cut it free. And, as it fell into the deep blue waters of the Atlantic, it went ...
'GLOOP!'

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Glooskap Finds Summer

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Long ago a mighty race of Indians lived near the sunrise, and they called themselves Wawaniki:-Children of Light. Glooskap was their master. He was kind to his people and did many great deeds for them.
Once in Glooskap's day it grew extremely cold. Snow and ice covered everything. Fires would not give enough warmth. The corn would not grow. His people were perishing from cold and famine.

Glooskap set forth the far north where all was ice to find the cause of the cold. Here in a wigwam he found the great giant Winter. It was Winter's icy breath that had frozen the land. Glooskap entered the wigwam and sat down. Winter gave him a pipe, and as they smoked the giant told tales of olden times when he reigned everywhere and all the land was silent, white, and beautiful. His frost charm fell upon Glooskap and as the giant talked on, Glooskap fell asleep. For six months he slept like a bear, then the charm left him. He was too strong for it and awoke.

Soon now Glooskap's talebearer, the Loon, a wild bird who lived on the lakeshores, brought him strange news. He described a country far to the south where it was always warm. There lived the all-powerful Summer who could easily overcome the giant Winter. To save his people from cold and famine and death, Glooskap decided to find her.

Far off to the southern reaches he traveled. Each day the air grew warmer, softer, and sweeter. After many, many days, in the forest he came upon a beautiful woman, dancing in the center of a group of young girls. Her long brown hair was crowned with flowers and her arms filled with blossoms. She was Summer. Glooskap knew that here at last was the one who by her charms could melt old Winter's heart. He leaped to catch her and would not let her go. Together they journeyed the long way back to the lodge of old Winter.

Winter welcomed Glooskap but he planned to freeze him to sleep again. This time, however, Glooskap did the talking. His charm proved the stronger one and soon sweat began to run down Winter's face. He knew that his power was gone and the charm of Frost broken. His icy tent melted away.

Summer now used her own special power and everything awoke. The grass grew green and the snow ran down the rivers, carrying away the dead leaves. Old Winter wept to see his power taken away.

But Summer said, "Now that I have proved I am more powerful than you, I give you all the country to the far north for your own, and there I shall never disturb you. Six months of every year you may return to Glooskap's country and reign as before, but you are to be less severe with your power. During the other six months, I will come back from the South and rule the land."

Old Winter could do nothing but accept this. So it is that he appears in Glooskap's country each year to reign for six months, but with a softer rule. When he comes, Summer runs home to her warm south land. When at the end of six months she returns to drive old Winter away, she awakens the north and gives it the joys that only she can bestow.

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Grandmother Spider Steals Light

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:In the beginning there was only blackness, and nobody could see anything. People kept bumping into each other and groping blindly. They said: "What this world needs is light."

Fox said he knew some people on the other side of the world who had plenty of light, but they were too greedy to share it with others. Possum said he would be glad to steal a little of it. "I have a bushy tail," he siad. "I can hide the light inside all that fur." Then he set out for the other side of the world.

There he found the sun hanging in a tree and lighting everything up. He sneaked over to the sun, picked out a tiny piece of light, and stuffed it into his tail. But the light was hot and burned all the fur off. The people discovered his theft and took back the light, and ever since, Possoum's tail has been bald.

"Let me try," said Buzzard. "I know better than to hide a piece of stolen light in my tail. I'll put it on my head." He flew to the other side of the world and, diving straight into the sun, seized it with his claws. He put it on his head, but it burned his head feathers off. The people grabbed the sun away from him, and ever since that time Buzzard's head has remained bald.

Grandmother Spider said, "Let me try!" First she made a thickwalled pot out of clay. Next she spun a web reaching all the way to the other side of the world. She was so small that none of the people there noticed her coming. Quickly Grandmother Spider snatched up the sun, put it in the bowl of clay, and scrambled back home along one of the strands of her web. Now her side of the world had light, and everyone rejoiced.

Spider brought not only the sun to the Cherokee, but fire with it. And besides that, she taught the Cherokee people the art of pottery making.

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Horrible Pirate

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:One time I was down by the docks and I saw this old sailor that I swear looked just like a pirate; peg-leg, eye-patch, and even a hook for a hand.
But I guess I was staring at him because he comes stumping over and says...
Arr, I saw yez lookin at me! Bet yer wond'rin hows I got this peg-leg? Well... it was HORRIBLE!
Me ship was a cannonading another ship, when they lets go with a broadside themselves. Whoooom, off goes me leg. Arr!
Then he turned to walk away when suddenly he turns back and says...
Arr, I saw yez still lookin at me! Bet yer wond'rin hows I got this hook fer a hand? Well... it was HORRIBLE!
Me ship was boarded by Malay pirates and we all draws swords and thrusts and parrys and parrys and thrusts! But I thrusted when I should'a parried. Whomp, off goes me hand! Arr!
Then he turned to walk away when suddenly he turns back and says...
Arr, I saw yez STILL lookin at me! Bet yer wond'rin hows I got this eyepatch? Well... it was HORRIBLE! One day I gots me an itch
and
(hook your finger up to your eye as you yell )
ARRR! I'd forgots I'd lost me hand!

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How 10,000 Lakes Were Made

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Many, many years ago when the world was new, the Mississippi river was much longer than it is now. It meandered back and forth across the area that is now Minnesota. Fish in great numbers lived in this river, and its water was so pure and sweet that all the animals came there to drink.

A giant moose that lived way up north heard about the river and he too came there to drink. But he was so big, and he drank so much, that soon the water began to sink lower and lower. The beavers were worried. The water around their lodges was disappearing. Soon their homes would be destroyed. The muskrats were worried, too. What would they do if the water vanished? How could they live? The fish were very worried. The other animals could live on land if the water dried up, but they couldn't. All the animals tried to think of a way to drive the moose from the river, but he was so big that they were too afraid to try. Even the bear was afraid of him.

At last the Fly said he would try to drive the moose away. All the animals laughed and jeered. How could a tiny fly frighten a giant moose? The fly said nothing, but that day, as soon as the moose appeared, he went into action. He landed on the moose's foreleg and bit sharply. The moose stamped his foot to shake off the fly. But, the fly landed again and bit again and the moose stomped harder, and each time he stamped, the ground sank and the water rushed in to fill it up.

Then the fly jumped about all over the moose, biting and biting and biting until the moose was in a frenzy. He dashed madly about the banks of the river, shaking his head, stamping his feet, snorting and blowing, but he couldn't get rid of that pesky fly. Finally, the moose could take it no longer and ran far away back up to the far north country where he had come from.

All the thrashing and stomping that the giant moose did across the country created large and small holes. As these filled with water, they became the 10,000 lakes of Minnesota. And, the giant moose told all the other moose to never go south because of the terrible biting flies there. That is why there are no longer moose in Minnesota except way up north by Canada.

The fly was very proud of his achievement, and the other animals were very thankful. They made a promise to Fly that whenever any animal dies of old age or disease, the fly can have the entire body to feed on and lay eggs. That is how it is done to this day.

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How Bear Lost His Tail
A Favorite Story

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Back in the old days, Bear had a tail which was his proudest possession. It was long and black and glossy and Bear used to wave it around just so that people would look at it. Fox saw this. Fox, as everyone knows, is a trickster and likes nothing better than fooling others. So it was that he decided to play a trick on Bear. It was the time of year when Hatho, the Spirit of Frost, had swept across the land, covering the lakes with ice and pounding on the trees with his big hammer. Fox made a hole in the ice, right near a place where Bear liked to walk. By the time Bear came by, all around Fox, in a big circle, were big trout and fat perch. Just as Bear was about to ask Fox what he was doing, Fox twitched his tail which he had sticking through that hole in the ice and pulled out a huge trout.
'Greetings, Brother,' said Fox. 'How are you this fine day?'

'Greetings,' answered Bear, looking at the big circle of fat fish. ' I am well, Brother. But what are you doing?'

'I am fishing,' answered Fox. 'Would you like to try?'

'Oh, yes,' said Bear, as he started to lumber over to Fox's fishing hole.

But Fox stopped him. 'Wait, Brother,' he said, 'This place will not be good. As you can see, I have already caught all the fish. Let us make you a new fishing spot where you can catch many big trout.'

Bear agreed and so he followed Fox to the new place, a place where, as Fox knew very well, the lake was too shallow to catch the winter fish:which always stay in the deepest water when Hatho has covered their ponds. Bear watched as Fox made the hole in the ice, already tasting the fine fish he would soon catch. 'Now,' Fox said, 'you must do just as I tell you. Clear your mind of all thoughts of fish. Do not even think of a song or the fish will hear you. Turn your back to the hole and place your tail inside it. Soon a fish will come and grab your tail and you can pull him out.'

'But how will I know if a fish has grabbed my tail if my back is turned?' asked Bear.

'I will hide over here where the fish cannot see me,' said Fox. 'When a fish grabs your tail, I will shout. Then you must pull as hard as you can to catch your fish. But you must be very patient. Do not move at all until I tell you.'

Bear nodded, 'I will do exactly as you say.' He sat down next to the hole, placed his long beautiful black tail in the icy water and turned his back.

Fox watched for a time to make sure that Bear was doing as he was told and then, very quietly, sneaked back to his own house and went to bed. The next morning he woke up and thought of Bear. 'I wonder if he is still there,' Fox said to himself. 'I'll just go and check.'

So Fox went back to the ice covered pond and what do you think he saw? He saw what looked like a little white hill in the middle of the ice. It had snowed during the night and covered Bear, who had fallen asleep while waiting for Fox to tell him to pull his tail and catch a fish. And Bear was snoring. His snores were so loud that the ice was shaking. It was so funny that Fox rolled with laughter. But when he was through laughing, he decided the time had come to wake up poor Bear. He crept very close to Bear's ear, took a deep breath, and then shouted: 'Now, Bear!!!' Bear woke up with a start and pulled his long tail hard as he could. But his tail had been caught in the ice which had frozen over during the night and as he pulled, it broke off : Whack! : just like that. Bear turned around to look at the fish he had caught and instead saw his long lovely tail caught in the ice.

'Ohhh,' he moaned, 'ohhh, Fox. I will get you for this.' But Fox, even though he was laughing fit to kill was still faster than Bear and he leaped aside and was gone.

Bear was so embarrassed, he went back to his cave and did not come out until spring. So it is that even to this day Bears have short tails, hibernate all winter, and have no love at all for Fox. And if you ever hear a bear moaning, it is probably because he remembers the trick Fox played on him long ago and he is mourning for his lost tail.

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How Bluebird and Coyote Got Their Colors

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:The bluebird is very blue, as blue as a brilliant lake. Many moons ago the bluebird used to be white. One day he was flying and came upon a lake and saw how blue and beautiful it was. He stopped and asked Grandfather, "Grandfather, can I be as blue as that lake?" So Grandfather gave him a song to sing. He told him what to do. Every morning for five mornings the bluebird would dive down into the lake singing the song taught to him by Grandfather then come back up. The whole time he was doing this the coyote was watching him. On the fifth day, the bluebird dove into the lake, and when he came back out, he was as blue as he is today.

The coyote saw this and thought to himself, "Hmmmm... I'd like to be as blue as that bluebird." So he said to the bluebird, "Teach me your song." So every morning for the next five days the coyote would take a bath and sing the song from Grandfather. And on the fifth day the coyote came out and was just as blue as the bluebird. The coyote looked at himself in the reflection of the water and thought, "My, I'm the prettiest coyote there is. There is none prettier than me."
So he strutted down the road, not unlike a peacock, looking around to make sure all the other animals could see him and see how truly beautiful was his color. He was so intent on having everyone know how colorful and beautiful he was that he paid no attention to where he was going in the road. He ran into a tree, fell down into a dirt road, rolled around and came up. That's why, when you look today, he's brown and dirty. That's how he got the color of his fur.

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How Chipmunk Got His Stripes

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:It has always been said that bears think very highly of themselves. Since they are big and strong, they are certain that they are the most important of the animals.

One day, Bear went along turning over big logs with his paws to look for food to eat. He felt very sure of himself. "There is nothing I cannot do," said Bear.

"Oh, really?" said a small voice. Bear looked down. There was Chipmunk looking up at Bear from his hole in the ground.

"Yes," Bear said, "that is true indeed." He reached out one huge paw and rolled over a big log. "Look at how easily I can do this. I am the strongest of all the animals. I can do anything. All the other animals fear me."

"Can you stop the sun from rising in the morning?" said the Chipmunk.

Bear thought for a moment. "I have never tried that," he said. "Yes, I am sure I could stop the sun from rising."

"You are sure?" said Chipmunk.

"I am sure," said Bear. "Tomorrow morning the sun will not rise. I, Bear, have said so." Bear sat down facing the east to wait.

Behind him the sun set for the night and still he sat there. Chipmunk went into its hole and curled up in his snug little nest, chuckling about how foolish Bear was. All through the night Bear sat. Finally, the first birds started their songs and the East glowed with the light that comes before the sun.

"The sun will not rise today," said Bear. He stared hard at the glowing light. "The sun will not rise today."

However, the sun rose, just as it always had. Bear was very upset, but Chipmunk was delighted. He laughed and laughed. "Sun is stronger than Bear," said the chipmunk, twittering with laughter. Chipmunk was so amused that he came out of his hole and began running around in circles, singing this song:

"The sun came up, The sun came up. Bear is angry, But the sun came up."

While Bear sat there looking very unhappy, Chipmunk ran around and around, singing and laughing until he was so weak that he rolled over on his back. Then, quicker than the leap of a fish from a stream, Bear shot out a paw and pinned him to the ground.

"Perhaps I cannot stop the sun from rising," said Bear, "but you will never see another sunrise."

"Oh, Bear," said the chipmunk. "You are the strongest, the quickest, the best of all of the animals. I was only joking." But Bear did not move his paw.

"Oh, Bear," Chipmunk said, "you are right to kill me, I deserve to die. Just please let me say one last prayer to Creator before you eat me."

"Say your prayer quickly," said Bear. "Your time to walk the Sky Road has come!"

"Oh, Bear," said Chipmunk, "I would like to die. But you are pressing down on me so hard I cannot breathe. I can hardly squeak. I do not have enough breath to say a prayer. If you would just lift your paw a little, just a little bit, then I could breathe. And I could say my last prayer to the Maker of all, to the one who made great, wise, powerful Bear and the foolish, weak, little Chipmunk."

Bear lifted up his paw. He lifted it just a little bit. That little bit, though, was enough. Chipmunk squirmed free and ran for his hole as quickly as the blinking of an eye. Bear swung his paw at the little chipmunk as it darted away. He was not quick enough to catch him, but the very tips of his long claws scraped along Chipmunk's back leaving three pale scars.

To this day, all chipmunks wear those scars as a reminder to them of what happens when one animal makes fun to another.


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How Coyote Got His Cunning

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:A great many hundred snows ago, Kareya, the Creator, sitting on the Sacred Stool, created the world. First, he made the fishes in the big water, then the animals on the green land, and last of all, The Man. But the animals were all alike in power, and it was not yet ordained which should be for food to others, and which should be food for The Man.

Then Kareya bade them all assemble together in a certain place, that The Man might give each his power and his rank. So the animals all met together, a great many hundred snows ago, on an evening when the sun was set, that they might wait over night for the coming of The Man the next morning.

Now Kareya commanded The Man to make bows and arrows, as many as there were animals, and to give the longest to the one that should have the most power, and the shortest to the one that should have the least. So he did, and after nine sleeps his work was ended, and the bows and arrows which he made were very many.

Now the animals being gathered together in one place, went to sleep, that they might rise in the morning and go to meet The Man. But the coyote was exceedingly cunning, above all the beasts that were, he was so cunning. So he considered within himself how he might get the longest bow, and so have the greatest power, and have all animals for his meat. He determined to stay awake all night, while the others slept, and so go forth first in the morning and get the longest bow. This he devised within his cunning mind, and then he laughed to himself, and stretched out his snout on his fore-paws, and pretended to sleep, like the others.

But about midnight he began to get sleepy, and he had to walk around camp and scratch his eyes a considerable time to keep them open. But still he grew more sleepy, and he had to skip and jump about like a good one to keep awake. He made so much noise this way that he woke up some of the other animals, and he had to think of another plan.

About the time the morning star came up, he was so sleepy that he couldn't keep his eyes open any longer. Then he took two little sticks and sharpened them at the ends, and propped open his eyelids, whereupon he thought he was safe, and he concluded he would take just a little nap, with his eyes open, watching the morning star. But in a few minutes he was sound asleep, and the sharp sticks pierced through his eyelids, and pinned them fast together.

So the morning star mounted up very swiftly, and then there came a peep of daybreak, and the birds began to sing, and the animals began to rise and stretch themselves, but still the coyote lay fast asleep. At last it was broad daylight, and then the sun rose, and all the animals went forth to meet The Man. He gave the longest bow to the cougar, so he had the greatest power of all; and the second longest to the bear; and so on, giving the next to the last to the poor frog.

But he still had the shortest one left, and he cried out, "What animal have I missed?" Then the animals began to look about, and they soon spied the coyote lying fast asleep, with the sharp sticks pinning his eyelids together. All the animals set up a great laugh, and they jumped on the coyote and danced upon him. Then they led him to The Man - for he could see nothing because of the sticks - and The Man pulled out the sticks, and gave him the shortest bow of all, which would shoot an arrow hardly more than a foot. And all the animals laughed very much.

But The Man took pity on the coyote, because he was now the weakest of all animals, weaker even than the frog, and he prayed to Kareya for him, and Kareya gave him cunning, ten times more than before, so that he was cunning above all the animals of the wood. So the coyote was a friend to The Man and to his children after him, and helped him, and did many things for him, as is told in other stories.


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How Coyote Stole Fire

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Long ago, when man was newly come into the world, there were days when he was the happiest creature of all. Those were the days when spring brushed across the willow tails, or when his children ripened with the blueberries in the sun of summer, or when the goldenrod bloomed in the autumn haze.

But always the mists of autumn evenings grew more chill, and the sun's strokes grew shorter. Then man saw winter moving near, and he became fearful and unhappy. He was afraid for his children, and for the grandfathers and grandmothers who carried in their heads the sacred tales of the tribe. Many of these, young and old, would die in the long, ice-bitter months of winter.

Coyote, like the rest of the People, had no need for fire. So he seldom concerned himself with it, until one spring day when he was passing a human village. There the women were singing a song of mourning for the babies and the old ones who had died in the winter. Their voices moaned like the west wind through a buffalo skull, prickling the hairs on Coyote's neck.
"Feel how the sun is now warm on our backs," one of the men was saying. "Feel how it warms the earth and makes these stones hot to the touch. If only we could have had a small piece of the sun in our teepees during the winter."

Coyote, overhearing this, felt sorry for the men and women. He also felt that there was something he could do to help them. He knew of a faraway mountain-top where the three Fire Beings lived. These Beings kept fire to themselves, guarding it carefully for fear that man might somehow acquire it and become as strong as they. Coyote saw that he could do a good turn for man at the expense of these selfish Fire Beings.
So Coyote went to the mountain of the Fire Beings and crept to its top, to watch the way that the Beings guarded their fire. As he came near, the Beings leaped to their feet and gazed searchingly round their camp. Their eyes glinted like bloodstones, and their hands were clawed like the talons of the great black vulture.
"What's that? What's that I hear?" hissed one of the Beings.
"A thief, skulking in the bushes!" screeched another.
The third looked more closely, and saw Coyote. But he had gone to the mountain-top on all fours, so the Being thought she saw only an ordinary coyote slinking among the trees.
"It is no one, it is nothing!" she cried, and the other two looked where she pointed and also saw only a grey coyote. They sat down again by their fire and paid Coyote no more attention.
So he watched all day and night as the Fire Beings guarded their fire. He saw how they fed it pine cones and dry branches from the sycamore trees. He saw how they stamped furiously on runaway rivulets of flame that sometimes nibbled outwards on edges of dry grass. He saw also how, at night, the Beings took turns to sit by the fire. Two would sleep while one was on guard; and at certain times the Being by the fire would get up and go into their teepee, and another would come out to sit by the fire.
Coyote saw that the Beings were always jealously watchful of their fire except during one part of the day. That was in the earliest morning, when the first winds of dawn arose on the mountains. Then the Being by the fire would hurry, shivering, into the teepee calling, "Sister, sister, go out and watch the fire." But the next Being would always be slow to go out for her turn, her head spinning with sleep and the thin dreams of dawn.
Coyote, seeing all this, went down the mountain and spoke to some of his friends among the People. He told them of hairless man, fearing the cold and death of winter. And he told them of the Fire Beings, and the warmth and brightness of the flame. They all agreed that man should have fire, and they all promised to help Coyote's undertaking.
Then Coyote sped again to the mountain-top. Coyote waited through the day, and watched as night fell and two of the Beings went off to the teepee to sleep. He watched as they changed over at certain times all the night long, until at last the dawn winds rose.
Then the Being on guard called, "Sister, sister, get up and watch the fire."
And the Being whose turn it was climbed slow and sleepy from her bed, saying, "Yes, yes, I am coming. Do not shout so."

But before she could come out of the teepee, Coyote lunged from the bushes, snatched up a glowing portion of fire, and sprang away down the mountainside.
Screaming, the Fire Beings flew after him. Swift as Coyote ran, they caught up with him, and one of them reached out a clutching hand. Her fingers touched only the tip of the tail, but the touch was enough to turn the hairs white, and coyote tail-tips are white still.

Coyote shouted, and flung the fire away from him. But the others of the People had gathered at the mountain's foot, in case they were needed. Squirrel saw the fire falling, and caught it, putting it on her back and fleeing away through the tree-tops. The fire scorched her back so painfully that her tail curled up and back, as squirrels' tails still do today.

The Fire Beings then pursued Squirrel, who threw the fire to Chipmunk. Chattering with fear, Chipmunk stood still as if rooted until the Beings were almost upon her. Then, as she turned to run, one Being clawed at her, tearing down the length of her back and leaving three stripes that are to be seen on chipmunks' backs even today.

Chipmunk threw the fire to Frog, and the Beings turned towards him. One of the Beings grasped his tail, but Frog gave a mighty leap and tore himself free, leaving his tail behind in the Being's hand:-which is why frogs have had no tails ever since.

As the Beings came after him again, Frog flung the fire on to Wood. And Wood swallowed it.

The Fire Beings gathered round, but they did not know how to get the fire out of Wood. They promised it gifts, sang to it and shouted at it. They twisted it and struck it and tore it with their knives. But Wood did not give up the fire. In the end, defeated, the Beings went back to their mountain-top and left the People alone.

But Coyote knew how to get fire out of Wood. And he went to the village of men and showed them how. He showed them the trick of rubbing two dry sticks together, and the trick of spinning a sharpened stick in a hole made in another piece of wood. So man was from then on warm and safe through the killing cold of winter.

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How Devil's Tower Was Made

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:Hand out a small piece of basalt for medicine bags.
Story:Long ago, two young Indian boys found themselves lost on the great prairie. They had played together one afternoon and had wandered far out of the village. Then they had shot their bows still farther out into the sagebrush. Then they had heard a small animal make a noise and had gone to investigate. They had come to a stream with many colorful pebbles and followed that for a while. They had come to a hill and wanted to see what was on the other side. On the other side they saw a herd of antelope and, of course, had to track them for a while. When they got hungry and thought it was time to go home, the two boys found that they didn't know where they were. They started off in the direction where they thought their village was, but only got farther and farther away from it. At last they curled up beneath a tree and went to sleep.
They got up the next morning and walked some more, still headed the wrong way. They ate some wild berries and dug up wild turnips, found some chokecherries, and drank water from streams. For three days they walked toward the west. They were footsore, but they survived. How they wished that their parents, or aunts and uncles, or elder brothers and sisters would find them. But nobody did.
On the fourth day the boys suddenly had a feeling that they were being followed. They looked around and in the distance saw Mato, the bear. This was no ordinary bear, but a giant grizzly so huge that the boys would make only a small mouthful for him, but he had smelled the boys and wanted that mouthful. He kept coming close, and the earth trembled as he gathered speed.
The boys started running, looking for a place to hide, but there was no such place and the grizzly was much, much faster than they. They stumbled, and the bear was almost upon them. They could see his red, wide-open jaws full of enormous, wicked teeth. They could smell his hot evil breath.
The boys were old enough to have learned to pray, and the called upon Wakan Tanka, the Creator: "Tunkashila, Grandfather, have pity, save us."
All at once the earth shook and began to rise. The boys rose with it. Out of the earth came a cone of rock going up, up up until it rose more than a thousand feet high. And the boys were on top of it.
Mato the bear was disappointed to see his meal disappearing into the clouds. This grizzly was so huge that he could almost reach to the top of the rock when he stood on his hind legs. Almost, but not quite. His claws were as large as a tipi's lodge poles. Frantically Mato dug his claws into the side of the rock, trying to get up, trying to eat those boys. As he did so, he made big scratches in the sides of the towering rock. He tried every spot, every side. He scratched up the rock all around, but it was no use. They boys watched him wearing himself out, getting tired, giving up. They finally saw him going away, a huge, growling, grunting mountain disappearing over the horizon.
The boys were saved. Or were they? How were they to get down? They were humans, not birds who could fly. Wanblee, the eagle, has always been a friend to our people. It was the great eagle that let the boys grab hold of him and carried them safely back to their village.

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How Mosquitoes Came To Be

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Long time ago there was a giant who loved to kill humans, eat their flesh, and drink their blood. He was especially fond of human hearts. "Unless we can get rid of the giant," people said, "none of us will be left," and they called a council to discuss what to do.

One man said, "I think I know how to kill the monster," and he went to the place where the giant had last been seen. There he lay down and pretended to be dead. Soon the giant came along.
Seeing the man lying there, he said: "These humans are making it easy for me. Now I don't even have to catch and kill them; they die right on my trail, probably from fear of me!"
The giant touched the body. "Ah, good," he said, "this one is still warm and fresh. What a tasty meal he'll make; I can't wait to roast his heart."
The giant flung the man over his shoulder, and the man let his head hang down as if he were dead. Carrying the man home, the giant dropped him in the middle of the floor right near the fireplace. Then he saw that there was no firewood, and went to get some.
As soon as the monster had left, the man got up and grabbed the giant's huge skinning knife. Just then the giant's son came in, bending low to enter. He was still small as giants go, and the man held the big knife to his throat. "Quick, tell me, where's your father's heart? Tell me or I'll slit your throat!"
The giant's son was scared. He said: "My father's heart is in his left heel."
Just then the giant's left foot appeared in the entrance, and the man swiftly plunged the knife into the heel. The monster screamed and fell down dead.
Yet, the giant still spoke. "Though I'm dead, though you killed me, I'm going to keep on eating you and all the humans in the world forever!"

"That's what you think!" said the man. "I'm about to make sure that you never eat anyone again." He cut the giant's body into pieces and burned each one in the fire. Then he took the ashes and threw them into the air for the winds to scatter.

Instantly each of the particles turned into a mosquito. The cloud of ashes became a cloud of mosquitoes, and from their midst the man heard the giant's voice laughing, saying: "Yes, I'll eat your people until the end of time."
As the monster spoke, the man felt a sting, and a mosquito started sucking his blood, and then many mosquitoes stung him, and he began to scratch himself.

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How Rabbit Lost His Tail

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:You have heard how Glooscap came to rule over the Wabanaki and how he made the animals, and how at first some of them were treacherous and disobedient. In time, however, he gave posts of honor to those whom he could trust, and they were proud to be Glooscap's servants. Two dogs became his watchmen, and the Loon his messenger and tale-bearer. And, because the Rabbit had the kindest heart of all the animals in the forest, Glooscap made Ableegumooch his forest guide.
Now in those days Ableegumooch the Rabbit was a very different animal than he is today. His body was large and round, his legs were straight and even, and he had a long bushy tail. He could run and walk like other animals, not with a hop-hop-hop as he does today.

One day in springtime, when the woods were carpeted with star flowers and lilies-of-the-valley, and the ferns were waist-high, Ableegumooch lay resting beside a fallen log. Hearing a rustle on the path, he peered around his log to see who was coming. It was Uskool the Fisher, a large animal of the weasel tribe, and he was weeping.

"What is the matter with him," wondered the rabbit, who was inquisitive as well as soft-hearted. He popped his head up over the log and Uskool nearly jumped out of his fur with surprise. "It's only me:Ableegumooch," said the rabbit. "Do you mind telling me why you are crying?"

"Oh, greetings, Ableegumooch," sighed Uskool, when he had recovered from his fright. "I'm going to my wedding."

"And that makes you cry?" asked the astonished rabbit.

"Of course not," said Uskool. "I've lost my way, that's the trouble."

"Well, just take your time," said the rabbit sensibly, "and you'll soon find it again."

"But I have no time to spare," groaned the fisher. "My future father-in-law has sworn that if I do not arrive for the wedding by sunset today, he will marry his daughter to Kakakooch the Crow. And, look, already the sun is low in the sky!"

"In that case," said Ableegumooch, "I'd better show you the way. Where are you going?"

"To a village called Wilnech," said Uskool eagerly, "near the bend in the river!"

"I know it well," said the rabbit. "Just follow me."

"Thanks, Ableegumooch," cried the happy fisher. "Now I shall be sure to arrive in time." So off they went on their journey. Uskool, who was not very quick on the ground, being more accustomed to travel in the trees, moved slowly.

"You go ahead," he told the impatient rabbit, "and I'll follow as fast as I can."

So Ableegumooch ran ahead, and sometimes all Uskool could see of him was his long bushy tail whisking through the trees. So it was that Uskool, looking far ahead and not watching where he stepped, fell suddenly headfirst into a deep pit.

His cries soon brought Ableegumooch running back, and seeing the fisher's trouble, he cried out cheerfully, "Never mind. I'll get you out."

He let his long tail hang down inside the pit.

"Catch hold, and hang on tight, while I pull."

Uskool held on to the rabbit's tail, and Ableegumooch strained mightily to haul him up. Alas, the weight of the fisher was too great. With a loud snap, the rabbit's tail broke off short, within an inch of the root, and there was poor Ableegumooch with hardly any tail at all!

Now you would think that this might have discouraged the rabbit from helping Uskool, but not so. When Ableegumooch made up his mind to do something for somebody, he did it. Holding on to a stout tree with his front paws, he lowered his hinder part into the pit.

"Take hold of my legs," he cried, "and hang on tight. I'll soon pull you out."

Ableegumooch pulled and he pulled until his waist was drawn out thin, and he could feel his hind legs stretching and stretching: and soon he feared he might lose them too. But at last, just as he thought he must give up, the fisher's head rose above the edge of the pit and he scrambled to safety.

"Well!" said the rabbit as he sat down to catch his breath. "My waist isn't so round as it was, and my hind legs seem a good bit longer than they were. I believe it will make walking rather difficult."

And sure enough, it did. When the rabbit tried to walk, he tumbled head over heels. Finally, to get along at all, he had to hop.

"Oh, well," said the rabbit, "hopping is better than nothing," and after a little practice, he found he could hop quite fast. And so they hurried on through the forest.

At last, just before the sun touched the rim of the trees, they arrived at the bride's village. All the fishers were gathered, waiting, and they smiled and cheered at sight of Uskool and his guide:all but Kakakooch the Crow, who was far from glad to see them! In fact, as soon as he saw Uskool take the bride's hand, he flew out of the village in a temper, and never came back again. But nobody cared about him.

Ableegumooch was the most welcome guest at the wedding when Uskool told the other fishers what he had done. All was feasting and merriment, and the rabbit danced with the bride so hard she fell into a bramble bush and tore her gown. She was in a dreadful state when she found she was not fit to be seen in company, and ran to hide behind a tree. The rabbit was terribly sorry and wanted to help her, so he hopped away to get a caribou skin he had seen drying in the sun, and made a new dress out of it for the bride. "You must have a fine girdle to go with it," said he, and he cut a thin strip off the end of the skin. Then he put one end of the strip in his mouth and held the other end with his front paws, twisting the strip into a fancy cord. He twisted and twisted, and he twisted it so hard the cord snapped out of his teeth and split his upper lip right up to his nose! And now you see why it is that rabbits are hare lipped!

"Never mind," said Ableegumooch, when the bride wept at his mishap, "it can't be helped," and he gave her the cord just as it was, to tie around her waist.

"Wait right here," said the bride, and she ran off. In a moment she was back, carrying a lovely white fur coat.

"This is for you," she said shyly. "It is the color of the snow, so if you wear it in winter, your enemies will not be able to see you."

Ableegumooch was delighted with his present and promised not to put it on until the snow came, as his brown coat would hide him better in summer. The wedding was over now, and he said good-bye to Uskool and the bride, and started for home.

Now it happened that before he had gone far, he came to a small pool in the woods, so smooth it was like a mirror. Looking into it, the rabbit saw himself for the first time since his accidents, and was aghast. Was this he:this creature with the split lip, the hind legs stretched out of shape, and a tail like a blob of down?

"Oh dear, oh dear," sobbed Ableegumooch, "how can I face my friends looking like this?" Then, in his misery, he remembered Glooscap, his Master. "O Master! See what has happened to your poor guide. I'm not fit to be seen any more, except to laugh at. Please put me back to my former shape."

High up on the mountain, Glooscap heard the rabbit and came striding down from his lodge to see what was wrong. When he saw poor Ableegumooch, all out of shape, he had all he could do to keep from laughing, though of course he kept a sober face so as not to hurt the rabbit's feelings.

"Come now," he said, "things may not be as bad as you think. You know how fond you are of clover, Ableegumooch?"

The rabbit nodded piteously.

"And you know how hard it is to find. Well, with that long cleft in your lip, you will be able to smell clover even when it is miles away!"

"That's good," said the rabbit, cheering up a little, "but it's very uncomfortable having to hop everywhere I go."

"Perhaps, for a time," said Glooscap, "but have you noticed how much faster you hop than you used to run?"

The rabbit did a little hop, and a jump or two, just to see.

"Why I believe you're right!" he cried, but then his face fell again. "But my tail, Master! I mind that most of all. I was so proud of it."

"It was certainly a handsome tail," admitted the Great Chief, "but recall how it used to catch in thorns and brambles."

"That's true!" cried the rabbit, excitedly, "and it was very awkward when Wokwes the Fox was chasing me! Now I can slip through the narrowest places with no trouble at all!" And he laughed with delight. "Why:with my new legs, my cleft lip, and without my long tiresome tail, I'm a better rabbit than I was before!"

"So you are!" said Glooscap, and at last he was able to laugh. When Glooscap laughs heartily, the land shakes and the trees bend over, so the rabbit had to hold on tightly to a tree to keep from being knocked over. "So you are indeed!" laughed Glooscap.

And that is why the rabbit and the rabbit's children, and his children's children have had, ever since that day, a little white scut of a tail, a cleft lip, and long hind legs on which they can hop all day and never tire. And since then, too, in winter, rabbits wear white coats.

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How Redbird Got His Color

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:A long time ago, Raccoon passed Wolf on a path by the creek. As usual, he insulted Wolf and Wolf began to chase him. Raccoon ran to hide on a limb of a tree overhanging the creek. Wolf followed, quickly becoming exhausted. He had been running all day, and was ready for a nap.

He stopped for a drink from the creek, and when seeing a reflection in the water of Raccoon above him, Wolf dived in. He almost drowned before pulling himself to shore, and he lay on the bank and fell in a deep sleep.

Seeing this, Raccoon climbed out of the tree, took some clay from the creek bottom and plastered Wolf's eyes shut.

When Wolf awoke, he could not open his eyes. He scratched at the clay hardened on his eyes, but could not break it off. He struggled and whined.

An ugly, brown bird heard the wolf's cries and came to see if he could help.

"What happened to you?" asked the little bird.

"My eyes have been plastered shut, and I cannot break it off," whined the wolf. "Can you help me, please?"

"I will try," said the bird. As the bird pecked on the clay, it slowly crumbled away and soon Wolf was able to see again.

"How can I repay you, brother, for the kindness you have shown?" asked Wolf.

"That is not necessary," replied the bird.

But Wolf was so grateful that he wanted to do something. He then looked at the plain, brown bird and said, "I've got it!" He took the bird to where the red rock is found, and using it, painted the little, brown bird red.

"Now you are a Redbird," said Wolf, "and all of your children from this day on will be born with the beautiful, red feathers." And so they were, and are today.

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How the People Got Arrowheads

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:In the days when the first people lived, they used to go hunting with arrows that had pine-bark points. They did not know where to get obsidian, or they would have used it, for obsidian made a sharp, deadly point which always killed the animals that were shot.
Ground Squirrel was the only one who knew that Obsidian Old Man lived on Medicine Lake, and one day he set out to steal some obsidian. Taking a basket filled with roots, he went into Obsidian Old Man's house and offered him some. Obsidian Old Man ate the roots and liked them so much that he sent Ground Squirrel out to get more. While Ground Squirrel was digging for them, Grizzly Bear came along.
"Sit down," Grizzly Bear said, "Let me sit on your lap. Feed me those roots by the handful."
Ground Squirrel was very much afraid of huge Grizzly Bear, so he did as he was told. Grizzly Bear gobbled the roots and got up. "Obsidian Old Man's mother cleaned roots for someone," he said as he went away.
Ground Squirrel returned to Obsidian Old Man , but there were only a few roots left to give him. Ground Squirrel told him what Grizzly Bear had done and what he had said as he departed. Obsidian Old Man was extremely angry at the insult to his dead mother.
"Tomorrow we will both go to find roots," he said.
So early next morning they set off. Obsidian Old Man hid near the place where Ground Squirrel started digging. Soon Ground Squirrel's basket was filled, and then along came Grizzly Bear.
"You dug all these for me!" he said. "Sit down!"
Ground Squirrel sat down, as he had the day before, and fed Grizzly Bear roots by the handful. But just then Grizzly Bear saw Obsidian Old Man draw near, and the bear got up to fight. At each blow, a great slice of the Grizzly's flesh was cut off by the sharp obsidian. Grizzly Bear kept fighting till he was cut to pieces, and then he fell dead. So Ground Squirrel and Obsidian Old Man went home and ate the roots, and were happy. Early next morning, Obsidian Old Man was awakened by Ground Squirrel's groaning.
"I am sick. I am bruised because that great fellow sat upon me. Really, I am sick," he was groaning.
Obsidian Old Man was sorry for Ground Squirrel. "I'll go and get wood," he said to himself. "But I'll watch him, for he may be fooling me. These people are very clever."
So he went for wood, and on the way he thought, "I had better go back and look."
But Ground Squirrel was very clever, he had been fooling all the time. As soon as Obsidian Old Man was far away, he got up. Taking all the obsidian points and tying them up in a bundle, he ran off.
As soon as Obsidian Old Man returned, he missed Ground Squirrel. He dropped the wood, ran after him, and almost caught him, but Ground Squirrel ran into a hole in the ground. As he went, he kicked the earth into the eyes of the old man, who was digging fast, trying to catch him.
After a whild Obsidian Old Man gave up and left. Ground Squirrel came out the other end of the hole, crossed the lake, and went home.
He emptied the bundle of points on the ground and distributed them to everyone. All day long the people worked, tying them onto arrows. They threw away all the old bark points, and when they went hunting they used the new arrow points and killed a great many deer.

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How the Sun, Moon, and Stars Got in the Sky

Intended for:Cub Scouts
Notes:This is an interactive audience story.
Story:When the narrator says the Capitalized words and pauses, the audience does the actions.

CHIEF: Fold arms across chest and say "How"
SUN: Cover eyes with hands
MOON: Frame face with hands and smile
STARS: Wiggle fingers in the air


Long ago the People had no fire and no light. They suffered much during the cold winter and they had to eat food uncooked. They also had to live in darkness because there was no light.

There was no SUN, MOON, nor STARS in the sky. A great CHIEF kept them locked up in a box. He took great pride in the thought that he alone had light. This great CHIEF had a beautiful daughter of whom he was also proud. She was much beloved by all the People of the tribe.

In those days, the raven had the powers of magic. He was a great friend of the People and the CHIEF. He wondered how he might make life more comfortable for them.

One day he saw the daughter of the CHIEF come down to the brook for a drink. He had an idea. He would put a magic spell on her. In time, a son was born to the daughter of the CHIEF. The old CHIEF was delighted and as the boy grew, his grandfather became devoted to him. Anything he wanted he could have.

One day he asked the old CHIEF for the box containing the STARS. Reluctantly, the old CHIEF gave it to him. The child played for a while by rolling the box around. Then he released the STARS and flung them into the sky. The Indians were delighted. This was some light, though not quite enough.

Awhile later, the child asked for the box containing the MOON. Again the old CHIEF hesitated but finally the boy got what he wanted. Again, after playing awhile with the box, the boy released the MOON and flung it into the sky. The tribe members were overjoyed. But still there was not light enough, and the MOON disappeared for long periods.

Finally, the child asked for the box with the SUN. "No," said the old CHIEF. "I cannot give you that." But the boy wept and pleaded. The old CHIEF could not stand the tears, so he gave the box to him. As soon as he had a chance, the child released the SUN and cast it into the sky.

The joy of the People knew no bounds. Here was light enough and heat as well. They ordered a feast of the SUN and all the People celebrated it with great jubilation. And the old CHIEF was happy. He had not known the SUN, the MOON and the STARS could mean so much for the comfort and happiness of his people. And for the first time, he too, enjoyed himself.

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How Turtle's Shell Got Cracked

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:In the days when the People and the animals still spoke the same language, Possum and Turtle were best friends. Many people thought it odd that two such very different creatures would be so close, but Possum and Turtle knew they had a lot in common. Neither of them liked to go anywhere in a hurry, and they both loved persimmons.

Here is how they shared persimmons together. Possum would climb a persimmon tree, wrap his strong tail around a limb, and hang. Turtle would come and stand at the foot of the tree, and Possum would swing up and pick a persimmon for himself and eat it. Then he would swing up and pick another one, and Turtle would open his mouth as wide as it would go. Possum would take careful aim and drop the persimmon into Turtle's mouth. They could do this for hours.

They were sharing persimmons in this way one day when a wolf came along. The wolf watched the two friends for a while and he saw a way to play what he thought was a pretty funny joke and get a free lunch at the same time.
He went and stood behind Turtle, and when Possum dropped a persimmon, the wolf leaped into the air and snatched it before it could land in Turtle's mouth. When Turtle opened his mouth, he closed his eyes, so he did not see the wolf, all he knew was that he saw Possum drop the persimmon, but it didn't land in his mouth. And after he saw many, many persimmons dropped that he did not eat, Turtle began to get angry.
Possum, up in the tree saw the wolf and realized what was happening. Now if you have a best friend, and you're trying to make a present to him, and someone comes along and steals it, it can make you angry. And that's how it was with Possum. He decided to fix that wolf. He looked all around the tree and found the biggest, ripest persimmon he could find.
Then instead of just dropping the persimmon down to Turtle, he threw it with all the strength he had, and the greedy wolf leaped into the air with his mouth wide open. The persimmon flew down his throat and stuck there, and he choked to death. Possum thought no more about it. He went back to eating persimmons.
When Turtle opened his eyes and saw the dead wolf, he realized where his persimmons had gone. And the more he thought about how the wolf had stolen his food, the angrier he became. He began to scold the wolf saying, "You were a very greedy wolf! You got what you deserved!" Then he said "Possum and I sure showed you! You wont be stealing any more persimmons." And then, "That was a very brave thing for me to do!" And finally he convinced himself that he alone, Turtle the Mighty Hunter, had slain the greedy wolf.
Now it is a custom for a hunter to take what is call a tribute from an animal he has killed. In this way he captures a piece from the animals spirit, which then belongs to him. Turtle decided he had the right to take a tribute from the dead wolf, so he cut off the wolf's ears. He took them home and fixed them onto two long wooden sticks and made wolf-ear spoons.
In the old days it was another custom to offer a visitor food to eat the very first thing. And there was a special dish that was usually kept cooking at all times just to offer a guest. This was a kind of thick corn soup. Turtle took his wolf-ear spoons and went visiting.

First Turtle visited all his friends. Then he began visiting people he had met once or twice. And then he began to visit people he had not even been introduced to, just so they would offer him a bowl of corn soup, and he could pull out his wolf-ear spoons and eat with them. Pretty soon everyone was talking about what a mighty hunter Turtle must be if he ate corn soup with wolf-ear spoons.

It wasn't long before word got back to the rest of the wolves, and they were angry. This was a terrible insult, for such an insignificant creature as Turtle to be eating corn soup with wolf-ear spoons. The wolves are faster than turtles, and they had no trouble catching Turtle. But then, in the manner of wolves everywhere, they began to argue over what to do with him. Turtle listened, and decided that the only thing he could do would be to keep his wits about him and be ready for any chance that he saw.
Finally one wolf said, "I know what we'll do with you Turtle. We'll build a roaring fire, throw you in it, and burn you alive." Turtle thought very quickly and said, "Oh please do. I'd love it. You see these big strong feet? I could stamp out every spark of your fire before I even got warm."
Well the wolves didn't like that and so they argued some more. Finally one of the wolves said, "I have a idea. Turtle, we'll build that roaring fire. We'll put a clay pot of water on the fire, throw you in, boil you, and make turtle soup!"
Turtle thought very quickly and said, "Oh, please do. I'd love it. You see these big strong feet? I could stamp your pot to pieces before the water could get warm!"
The wolves didn't like that either. They argued and argued and finally one wolf said, "Well then, Turtle, I know what we'll do with you. We'll carry you down to the deepest part of the river and throw you in. We'll stand on the bank and watch you drown!" And Turtle thought very quickly and said, "Oh, no, not the river! Anything but the river!"
Well, as soon as the wolves heard that, of course they carried Turtle down to the riverbank.
They threw him into the water as hard as they could, which should have been fine. Turtles live in the river. But Turtle didn't land in the water the way he thought he would. The wolves threw him so hard, he went spinning end over end as he fell. And landed on his back on a rock in the middle of the river, and then he bounced into the water.
As Turtle swam to the other side of the river, he could feel his back shifting and moving. When he crawled out of the water and looked over his shoulder, he saw that his beautiful shiny shell had been cracked into a dozen pieces.
Now, Turtle wasn't a mighty hunter, but he was a very good doctor. He knew many conjuring secrets. He knew the healing plants and how to prepare them. When he had gathered all the plants he need, he went about the business of doctoring himself, singing, "Gu`daye`wu, Gu`daye`wu I have sewn myself together, I have sewn myself together."

And over the time that has passed from that day to this, Turtle's shell has grown strong again. But if you look closely, you can still see the lines where Turtle's back was cracked, and you will never see another turtle eating corn soup from wolf-ear spoons.

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Invisible One

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:There was once a large Indian village situated on the border of a lake. At the edge of the village was a lodge, in which dwelt a being who was always invisible. He had a sister who attended to his wants, and it was known that any girl who could see him might marry him. Nearly all the girls in the village made an attempt.

Towards evening, when the Invisible One was supposed to be returning home, his sister would walk with any girls who came down to the shore of the lake. She could see her brother, since to her he was always visible, and upon seeing him she would say to her companions, "Do you see my brother?" And they would mostly answer, "Yes."

And then the sister would say, "Of what is his shoulder-strap made?" But sometimes she would inquire other things, such as, "With what does he draw his sled?" And they would reply, "A strip of rawhide," or "A green withe," or something of the kind. And then she, knowing they had not told the truth, would reply quietly, "Very well, let us return to the wigwam!"

As they entered the place she would bid them not to take a certain seat, for it was his. After they had helped to cook the supper they would wait with great curiosity to see him eat. They saw proof that he was a real person, for as he took off his moccasins they became visible, and his sister hung them up; but beyond this they beheld nothing not even when they remained all night, as many did.

There dwelt in the village an old man, a widower, with three daughters. The youngest of these was very small, weak, and often ill. Her sorry condition did not prevent her sisters, especially the eldest, from treating her with great cruelty. The second daughter was kinder, and sometimes did not bother the poor abused little girl, but the oldest would burn the youngest's hands and face with hot coals; yes, her whole body was scarred with marks made by torture, so that people called her the rough-faced girl. And when her father, coming home, asked how it was that the child was so disfigured, her sister would promptly say that it was the fault of the young girl herself, because having been forbidden to go near the fire, she had disobeyed and fallen in.

Now it came to pass that it entered the heads of the two elder sisters of this poor girl that they would go and try their fortune at seeing the Invisible One. So they clad themselves in their finest and strove to look their fairest. They found the Invisible One's sister at home and so walked down to the water with her.

Then when He came, being asked if they saw him, they said, "Certainly," and also replied to the question of the shoulder-strap or sled cord, "A piece of rawhide." In saying which, they lied, like the rest, for they had seen nothing, and got nothing for their pains.

When their father returned home the next evening, he brought with him many of the pretty little shells from which wampum was made, and they were soon busy stringing them.

That day poor little burnt-faced girl, who had always run barefoot, got a pair of her father's old moccasins and put them into water that they might become flexible to wear. And begging her sisters for a few wampum shells, the eldest just called her "a lying little pest," but the other gave her a few. And having no clothes beyond a few rags, the poor creature went into the woods and got a few sheets of birch bark, of which she made a dress, putting some figures on the bark. She also made a cap, leggings, and handkerchief. Having put on her father's great old moccasins, which came nearly up to her knees, she went forth to try her luck. For even this little thing would try to see the Invisible One in the great wigwam at the edge of the village.

She had to overcome one long storm of ridicule and hisses, yells and hoots, from her own door to that of the Invisible One. Her sisters tried to shame her, and told her to stay home, but she would not obey; and all the idlers, seeing this strange little creature in her odd clothes, cried, "Shame!" But she went on, for she was greatly resolved; it may be that some spirit inspired her.

Now this poor small wretch in her mad attire, with her hair singed off and her little face as full of burns and scars as there are holes in a sieve, was most kindly received by the sister of the Invisible One. His sister was very noble and knew more than the mere outside of things as the world knows them. And as the brown of the evening sky became black, she took her down to the lake. And soon the girls knew that He had come.

Then the sister said, "Do you see him?" And the other replied in awe, "Truly I do, and He is wonderful."

"And what is his sled string?" "It is," she replied, "the Rainbow." And great fear was on her.

"But, my sister," said the other, "what is his bow-string?" "His bow-string is the Milky Way.", she responded.

"You have truly seen him," said the sister. And, taking the girl home, she bathed her. As she washed, all the scars disappeared from face and body. Her hair grew again; it was very long, and like a blackbird's wing. Her eyes were like stars. In all the world there was no such beauty. Then from her treasures she gave her a wedding garment, and adorned her. Under the comb, as she combed her, her hair grew. It was a great marvel to behold.

Then, having done this, she told her to take the wife's seat in the wigwam, that by which her brother sat, the seat next to the door. And when He entered, terrible and beautiful, he smiled and said, "So we are found out!"
"Yes," was her reply. So she became his wife.

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Job at the Zoo

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:In high school, I needed money. I was able to drive, had a girlfriend, and like to go out with my friends. My folks didn't have much money and I needed to pay my own way.
I had already done jobs working at restaurants and grocery stores and wanted to try something more interesting. While searching around, I stopped at the zoo.

As it turned out, the zoo director liked my style and said he had an interesting job that he felt I could handle. We walked through the back alleys and tunnels of the zoo that most people never see until we got to the gorilla cage. But, it was empty.

The director told me that their gorilla named Kong had caught a bug and was in quarantine for the next week. Kong was getting old and they were even now shopping around for a replacement since Kong just sits on a treebranch holding onto a rope all day. When the crowds started arriving on the weekend, they'd be disappointed to have no gorilla since everyone enjoys the gorilla exhibit, even a boring old gorilla.

The director said he had a gorilla suit I could wear if I would be interested in sitting on the branch for 4 hours at a time so the people would at least have something to look at. It sounded good to me, not the usual high school job, so I told him I would.

The next day I went to the zoo, put on the gorilla suit and climbed into the cage. I sat on the branch holding the rope and soon there was a crowd of children pressing their faces to the bars. It didn't take long for me to start getting bored, so I would scratch my armpits, thump my chest, and twirl the rope. About an hour passed and I began to really get into this gorilla stuff. I would grab the rope and swing across the cage. The kids thought it was great so I started swinging higher and higher.

In the next cage there was a lion and he was becoming irritated by my antics and began to pace his cage and roar. I kept swinging and started to swing to the lion's side of the cage and would use my feet to push off of his bars. I could really swing out far and he roared even louder. It was actually pretty fun and the kids were really enjoying the show.

All of a sudden I missed the bars, flew through, and dropped right into the lion's cage! I landed on my back and was stunned but immediately got up and ran to the front of the cage to the croud, screaming "Help me, help me, I'm not who you think I am!"

Just as I yelled, the lion jumped on my back and knocked me to the ground. His head was at my neck and I was sure I'd never make it to graduation. Then he whispered in my ear, "Shut up stupid, or you'll get us both fired".

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Lost Scout

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:Reminder to use the buddy system.
Story:Years ago, right here at this camp, a Scout Troop, much like ours came out for the weekend. As with most every troop, there's always one Scout who's much better than everyone else in his camping skills. This Troop had an exceptional Scout who everyone looked up to, to help them out if they were having any problems. This Scout could hike farther than anyone else, catch bigger fish, make a better snow-fort to sleep in, start a fire with one match every time, could snowshoe faster than all the adults, and many more skills. Everyone would ask him for help, because he was so good. The leaders relied on him to help teach all the Scout skills and he did it with a smile on his face. Everyone liked him because he was so friendly.

One night, he and his patrol decided to sleep outside in snow huts. The Scout helped everyone to get settled before turning in himself. The Scoutmaster came out to check on them to make sure no one was too cold. In the middle of the night, the Scout was awoken by the call of nature. He woke up a couple of his buddies to go with him, as he knew that no one should go anywhere without a buddy. His friends told him that since he was the best Scout in the troop, and knew so much, that there was no chance for something to go wrong. You all know, that flattery is great for one's ego, and this Scout was no different. He got dressed and ventured outside to the latrine to complete his task.

After he had done, he got dressed again, and started back to his snow hut. But when he opened the door to the latrine, he saw that a storm had moved in. He started to return to his hut but the tracks he had left had been blown over by the storm. He tried to find his way back but the wind was driving the snow in his eyes and he couldn't see anything. He walked as fast as he could to where he thought the hut was, but he couldn't find it. He walked and stumbled in the storm for what seemed a long time, when he realized he was in trouble. He remembered the first rule when lost in the winter: stop and build a fire. He found a spot to dig out a cave in a snow bank, and crawled in. He had an emergency kit with him, and quickly had a fire going.

The next morning, everyone awoke to find a clean, crisp layer of white snow had covered the camp. It didn't take long for the Scout's friends to realize that he was missing, and they ran to tell the rest of the camp. Everyone got dressed in their warmest clothes and quickly started a search party. They scoured the entire camp for hours, but couldn't find the Lost Scout. For the rest of the day, everyone searched for him. They called in search and rescue teams to help, but still couldn't find him. For days, search parties combed the area looking for the Scout, but he was never found.

It was a sad year for that Troop. They had lost a great friend. In the Spring, they gathered again at the camp to search for the Scout's remains. Again, everyone searched everywhere, but couldn't find him.

I often walk through these woods at night, and often think about the Lost Scout. It's been said that if you are walking alone through these woods at night, you may feel a cold draft shiver down your back. It maybe the Lost Scout reminding you to:
"Take a BUDDY!"


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Nail in the Attic

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:When I was a young boy, there was a strange old man in our neighborhood named Frank Samuels. We all called him Frownin' Frank because he was awful ornery and none of us every saw him smile. He had a mangy old dog he called King that always used other people's yards for a bathroom.
Every morning and every evening, Frownin' Frank would take King for a walk and let him do his business in someone's yeard. I figure King was Frank's only friend.

One evening, while we were playing in the street, Frank came walking down the road, hollering, 'King! King! here boy!'
He hollered at us, 'You boys seen my dog?'
We hadn't and we told him so.
Frank just kept on frownin' and yelling for his dog. About an hour later, he came back looking pretty depressed and headed for his home. He hadn't found King.

Frank looked all around his yard, in the shed out back, under the house and in the bushes in the back yard - no sign of King anywhere.

Finally, he went inside, took off his coat and shoes, and sat down in his chair. He knew he had to call the dog pound. Just as he picked up the phone, he heard a noise like scratching and whining upstairs. He put down the phone and quietly walked up the stairs in his socks so he could still hear the noise.
When he got to the top, the sound came from still higher up - in the attic! He climbed the stairs up to the attic door, making no sound in just his socks.

He stood outside listening, but he didn't hear a thing. Then he opened the door, stepped in, and -

(Now SCREAM LOUDLY!)

At this point, don't say anything more. Just sit there as if you have finished the story. Somebody will ask, 'Why did he scream?'
You reply, 'You'd scream too if you stepped on a nail in your bare feet!'

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Norman the Genius

Intended for:Cub Scouts
Notes:This is an audience participation story
Story:When the narrator says the Capitalized words and pauses, the audience does the actions.

NORMAN: Say "Oh, my!" and raise both hands
RIGHT: Say "This!" and raise right hand
LEFT: Say "That!" and raise left hand
THIS: Say "Right!" and raise right hand
THAT: Say "Left!" and raise left hand
GENIUS: All clap and Cheer!


This is the story of NORMAN, a boy who wanted very much to be a GENIUS. But, no matter how hard he tried, it just didn't work out. You see, NORMAN had a problem - he could not tell RIGHT from LEFT.

At school, the teacher would say, "When you know the answer, raise your RIGHT hand." By the time NORMAN figured which hand was which, it was too late! At home it was the same thing. It was, "NORMAN, you have your LEFT shoe on your RIGHT foot."

Things weren't any better outside. In football, they would send him in at LEFT end and he would be RIGHT. In baseball, they'd yell, "NORMAN, move to your LEFT!" He'd move RIGHT.

Poor NORMAN! No matter what he did, it wasn't RIGHT! or LEFT! But NORMAN was determined! Finally, he figured out what to do. He'd call it THIS and THAT. THIS for RIGHT and THAT for LEFT. Somehow, it all seemed easier. And in no time, he had it down pat.

One day, while NORMAN was home alone, a burglar forced his way in. NORMAN was frightened! The burglar asked where his mother's jewels and furs were.
NORMAN said, "In the closet."
But when the burglar asked, "Which way is THAT?", NORMAN, of course answered, "LEFT."
The burglar followed these instructions and found himself in the kitchen! Being a smart burglar he said, "THIS isn't RIGHT!" and NORMAN said, "Oh, yes it is - but your asked for THAT!"

The burglar became angry and said, "Now listen, I asked where the closet is, do you understand THAT?"
And NORMAN answered, "Oh, yes, THAT is LEFT!"
The burglar said, "THIS is enough!"
And NORMAN said, "Oh, no, THIS is RIGHT!"
Exasperated, the burglar said, "Oh, forget it! Just tell me where the closet is!"
And NORMAN said, "Turn THIS."
But naturally, the burglar misunderstood and turned the knob on the door in front of him, and plunged headlong down the basement stairs.

Just then, NORMAN's parents came home, and when he told them what had happened, his father said the words he'd been waiting so very long to hear, "NORMAN, you're a GENIUS!"

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Origin of Cedar Tree

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:A long time ago when the People were new upon the earth, they thought that life would be much better if there was never any night. They asked the Creator that it might be day all the time and that there would be no darkness. The Creator heard their voices and made the night cease and it was day all the time. Soon the forest was thick with heavy growth. It became difficult to walk and to find the path. The people toiled in the gardens many long hours trying to keep the weeds pulled from among the corn and other food plants.
It got hot, very hot, and continued that way day after long day. The people began to find it difficult to sleep and became short tempered and argued among themselves.

Not many days had passed before the people realized they had made a mistake and, once again, they beseeched the Creator. "Please," they said, "we have made a mistake in asking that it be day all the time. Now we think that it should be night all the time." The Creator paused at this new request and thought that perhaps the people may be right even though all things were created in twos representing to us day and night, life and death, good and evil, times of plenty and those times of famine. The Creator loved the people and decided to make it night all the time as they had asked.
The day ceased and night fell upon the earth. Soon, the crops stopped growing and it became very cold. The people spent much of their time gathering wood for the fires. They could not see to hunt meat and with no crops growing, it was not long before the people were cold, weak, and very hungry. Many of the people died.

Those that remained still living gathered once again to beseech the Creator. "Help us Creator," they cried! "We have made a terrible mistake. You had made the day and the night perfect, and as it should be, from the beginning. We ask that you forgive us and make the day and night as it was before." Once again the Creator listened to the request of the people. The day and the night became as the people had asked, as it had been in the beginning. Each day was divided between light and darkness. The weather became more pleasant, and the crops began to grow again. Game was plentiful and the hunting was good. The people had plenty to eat and there was not much sickness. The people treated each other with compassion and respect. It was good to be alive. The people thanked the Creator for their life and for the food they had to eat.

The Creator accepted the gratitude of the people and was glad to see them smiling again. However, during the time of the long day of night, many of the people had died, and the Creator was sorry they had perished because of the night. The Creator placed their spirits in a newly created tree. This trees was named a-tsi-na tlu-gv {ah-see-na loo-guh} cedar tree. When you smell the aroma of the cedar tree or gaze upon it standing in the forest, remember that if you are Tsalagi Cherokee, you are looking upon your ancestor.

Tradition holds that the wood of the cedar tree holds powerful protective spirits for the Cherokee. Many carry a small piece of cedar wood in their medicine bags worn around the neck. It is also placed above the entrances to the house and the needles are burned to protect against the entry of evil spirits.

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Origin of Corn

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Long ago, two braves were sitting by a fire, roasting a deer they had killed. Just then, a beautiful woman was seen to descend from the clouds and alight upon the earth. They were astonished at seeing her, and concluded that she must be hungry, and had smelt the meat. They immediately went to her, taking with them a piece of the roasted venison.

They presented it to her and she ate her fill. She told them to return to the spot where she was sitting, at the end of one year, and they would find a reward for their kindness and generosity. She then ascended to the clouds, and disappeared. The two men returned to their village, and explained to the nation what they had seen, done, and heard but were laughed at by their people.

When the time arrived for them to visit this consecrated ground where they were to find a reward for their attention to the beautiful woman of the clouds, they went with a large party, and found, where her right hand had rested on the ground, corn growing -and where the left hand had rested, beans - and immediately where she had been seated, tobacco. The two first have, ever since, been cultivated by our people, as our principal provisions and the last used for smoking.

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Origin of Medicine

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:There was a time when humans could converse with the animals and the plants. Humans multiplied and began to dominate the animals. They killed and took what they wanted with no concern for the animals. So, the animals had a great council to decide how to protect themselves from the humans. The Bears imitated the People's bows but their great claws got in the way when they tried to shoot them. The Deer made spears but they could not throw them.

The animals decided that any hunter that killed without asking pardon of the animal would be afflicted with a disease. That would stop the People from killing more than needed and would make the People appreciate that which they took. The animals sent a deer as a messenger to the People and told them that a hunter must ask pardon when killing an animal or suffer a disease.

Chief Little Deer was extremely swift and whenever a deer or animal is killed by a hunter, he runs to the spot and asks the slain animal's spirit if it heard the hunter's prayer for pardon. If the answer is 'No' then Chief Little Deer tracks the hunter to his village and afflicts the People with a disease.

Plants were friendly to the People and were concerned that they may all be killed from the diseases. So, they had a council and agreed to furnish cures for the diseases. For every disease the animals came up with, the plants provided a cure.
There were many, many diseases and it took much knowledge to know and remember the cures for each, so medicine men were appointed to remember the cures. These men were respected and helped the People with ailments and problems.

Each person also had their own medicine pouch to carry items which would protect them from bad spirits and disease. Your pouch contains totems that are special to you and that represent important events. You may add feathers, rocks, dirt, seeds, wood, beads, ... anything that you can take out later and reflect on.

Remember this and remember this well! There is a purpose for every living thing on Mother Earth, and all things are alive. We should live in harmony as we are all related.

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Origin of Summer and Winter

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:The chief had a daughter named Co-chin who was the wife of Shakok, the Spirit of Winter. After he came to live with the people, the seasons grew colder and colder. Snow and ice stayed longer each year. Corn no longer matured. The people soon had to live on cactus leaves and other wild plants.

One day Co-chin went out to gather cactus leaves and burn off the thorns so she could carry them home for food. She was eating a singed leaf when she saw a young man coming toward her. He wore a yellow shirt woven of corn silk, a belt, and a tall pointed hat; green leggings made of green moss that grows near springs and ponds; and moccasins beautifully embroidered with flowers and butterflies.

In his hand, he carried an ear of green corn with which he saluted her. She returned the salute with her cactus leaf. He asked, "What are you eating?" She told him, "Our people are starving because no corn will grow, and we are compelled to live on these cactus leaves."

"Here, eat this ear of corn, and I will go bring you an armful for you to take home with you," said the young man. He left and quickly disappeared from sight, going south. In a very short time, however, he returned, bringing a large bundle of green corn that he laid at her feet.

"Where did you find so much corn?" Co-chin asked.

"I brought it from my home far to the south," he replied. "There the corn grows abundantly and flowers bloom all year."

"Oh, how I would like to see your lovely country. Will you take me with you to your home?" she asked.

"Your husband, Shakok, the Spirit of Winter, would be angry if I should take you away," he said.

"But I do not love him, he is so cold. Ever since he came to our village, no corn has grown, no flowers have bloomed. The people are compelled to live on these prickly pear leaves," she said.

"Well," he said. "Take this bundle of corn with you. Then come tomorrow and I will bring you more. I will meet you here." He said good-bye and left for his home in the south.

When she arrived home, her father and mother were wonderfully surprised with the corn. Co-chin described in detail the young man and where he was from. She would go back the next day to get more corn from him, as he asked her to meet him there, and he would accompany her home.

"It is Miochin," said her father.
"It is Miochin," said her mother. "Bring him home with you."

The next day, Co-chin went to the place and met Miochin, for he really was Miochin, the Spirit of Summer. He was waiting for her and had brought big bundles of corn.

Between them, they carried the corn to the village. There was enough to feed all of the people. Miochin was welcome at the home of the Chief. In the evening, as was his custom, Shakok, the Spirit of Winter and Co-chin's husband, returned from the north. All day he had been playing with the north wind, snow, sleet, and hail.

Upon reaching the village, he knew Miochin must be there and called out to him, "Ha, Miochin, are you here?" Miochin came out to meet him. "Ha, Miochin, now I will destroy you."

"Ha, Shakok, I will destroy you," replied Miochin, advancing toward him, melting the snow and hail and turning the fierce wind into a summer breeze. The icicles dropped off and Shakok's clothing was revealed to be made of dry, bleached rushes.

Shakok said, "I will not fight you now, but will meet you here in four days and fight you till one of us is beaten. The victor will win Co-chin."

Shakok left in a rage, as the wind roared and shook the walls of White City. But the people were warm in their houses because Miochin was there. The next day he left for his own home in the south to make preparations to meet Shakok in combat.

First, he sent an eagle to his friend Yat-Moot, who lived in the west, asking him to come help him in his fight with Shakok. Second, he called all the birds, insects, and four-legged animals that live in summer lands to help him. The bat was his advance guard and shield, as his tough skin could best withstand the sleet and hail that Shakok would throw at him.

On the third day Yat-Moot kindled his fires. Big black clouds of smoke rolled up from the south and covered the sky.

Shakok was in the north and called to him all the winter birds and four-legged animals of winter lands to come and help him. The magpie was his shield and advance guard.

On the fourth morning, the two enemies could be seen rapidly approaching the village. In the north, black storm clouds of winter with snow, sleet, and hail brought Shakok to the battle. In the south, Yat-Moot piled more wood on his fires and great puffs of steam and smoke arose and formed massive clouds. They were bringing Miochin, the Spirit of Summer, to the battlefront. All of his animals were blackened from the smoke. Forked blazes of lightning shot forth from the clouds.

At last the combatants reached the village. Flashes from the clouds singed the hair and feathers of Shakok's animals and birds. Shakok and Miochin were now close together. Shakok threw snow, sleet, and hail that hissed through the air of a blinding storm. Yat-Moot's fires and smoke melted Shakok's weapons, and he was forced to fall back. Finally he called a truce. Miochin agreed, and the winds stopped, and snow and rain ceased falling.

Shakok said, "I am defeated, you are the winner. Co-chin is now yours forever."

Then the men each agreed to rule one-half of the year, Shakok for winter and Miochin for summer, and that neither would trouble the other thereafter. That is why we have a cold season for one-half of the year, and a warm season for the other.

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Origin of the Pleiades

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Once a party of Indians went throught the woods toward a hunting ground which they had know for a long time. They traveled several days through very wild country, going slowly and camping on the way. At last they reached The Beautiful Lake of gray rocks and the great forest trees. Fish swarmed in the waters, and deer came down from the hills to drink. On the hills and in the valleys were huge beech and chestnut trees, where there were squirrels and bears.

The chief of the party was Tracks-in-the-Water, and he halted the group on the shore of the lake to give thanks to the Great Spirit for the safe arrival at the hunting grounds. "Here we will build our lodges for the winter and may the Great Spirit send us plenty of game and health and peace."

Autumn passed on. The lodges were built and hunting went well. The children began to dance to amuse themselves. They were getting lonesome, having nothing to do, so they went to a quiet spot by the lake to dance. They had done this a long time when one day a very old man came to them. They had never seen anyone like him before. He was dressed in white feathers and his white hair shone like silver. He spoke to them, telling them they must stop dancing or evil would happen to them. Many of the children stopped dancing and returned home, but eight children did not pay any attention to him. Day after day they danced. Again and again he appeared, repeating his warning.

One of the children suggested a feast the next time they met to dance. When they returned home, they all asked their parents for food. "You will waste and spoil good food," said one. "You can eat at home as you should," said another. So they got nothing. But they met again and danced anyway. They would have liked to have had something to eat after each dance. Their stomachs were empty.

One day, as the eight children danced, they found themselves rising little by little into the air. Their heads were light from hunger. They didn't know how all this happened. One said. "Don't look back, for something strange is happening."

A woman, who saw them, called them back, but with no effect, for they continued to rise slowly above the earth. She ran to the camp, and everyone rushed out with all kinds of food. But the children did not return, even thought their parents cried after them.

One, who did look back, became a falling star. The others reached the sky. They are the Pleiades. Every falling star brings the story to mind, but the seven stars shine on: a band of dancing children.

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Pink Jellybean

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:Just suspenseful if you ham it up.
Story:At the end of a long, dark road is a long, dark path.

At the end of the long, dark path is a lone, dark house.

And the lone, dark house has a single, dark door.

Behind the single, dark door is a long, dark hall.

At the end of the long, dark hall are some tall, dark stairs.

At the top of the tall, dark stairs is a long dark balcony.

At the end of the long, dark balcony is a big dark room.

In the big, dark room is a big, dark closet.

In the big, dark closet is a big, dark door.

Behind the big, dark door are some steep, dark stairs.

At the top of the steep, dark stairs is a dark, dusty attic.

In the dark, dusty attic is a big, dark chest.

In the big, dark chest is a small, dark box.

And in the small, dark box is a pink jellybean

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Rabbit and the Thief

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Long ago, Rabbit was a great hunter. He lived with his grandmother in a lodge deep in the forest. It was winter and Rabbit set traps and laid snares to catch game for food. He caught many small animals and birds, until one day he discovered that some mysterious being was robbing his traps. Rabbit and his grandmother became hungry. Though he visited his traps very early each morning, he always found them empty.

At first Rabbit thought that the robber might be a cunning wolverine, until one morning he found long, narrow footprints alongside his trap line. It was, he thought, the tracks of the robber, but they looked like moonbeams. Each morning Rabbit rose earlier and earlier, but the being of the long foot was always ahead of him and always his traps were empty.

Rabbit made a trap from a bowstring with the loop so cleverly fastened that he felt certain that he would catch the robber when it came. He took one end of the thong with him and hid himself behind a clump of bushes from which he could watch his snare. It was bright moonlight while he waited, but suddenly it became very dark as the moon disappeared. A few stars were still shining and there were no clouds in the sky, so Rabbit wondered what had happened to the moon.

Something came stealthily through the trees and then Rabbit was almost blinded by a flash of bright, white light which went straight to his trap line and shone through the snare which he had set. Quick as a lightning flash, Rabbit jerked the bowstring and tightened the noose. There was a sound of struggling and the light lurched from side to side. Rabbit knew by the tugging on his string that he had caught the robber.

Rabbit fastened the bowstring to a nearby sapling to hold the loop tight while he raced back to tell his grandmother, who was a wise old woman, what had happened. She told him that he must return at once and see what he had caught. Rabbit wanted to wait for daylight but his grandmother said that might be too late, so he returned to his trap line.

When he came near his traps, Rabbit saw that the bright light was still there. It was so bright that it hurt his eyes. He bathed them in the icy water of a nearby brook, but still they smarted. He made big snowballs and threw them at the light, in the hope of putting it out. As they went close to the light, he heard them sizzle and saw them melt. Next, Rabbit scooped up great pawfuls of soft clay from the stream and made many big clay balls. He was a good shot and threw the balls with all of his force at the dancing white light. He heard them strike hard and then his prisoner shouted.

Then a strange voice asked why he had been snared and demanded that he be set free at once, because he was the man in the moon and he must be home before dawn came. His face had been spotted with clay and, when Rabbit went closer, the moon man saw him and threatened to kill him and all of his tribe if he were not released at once.

Rabbit was so terrified that he raced back to tell his grandmother about his strange captive. She too was much afraid and told Rabbit to return and release the thief immediately. Rabbit went back, and his voice shook with fear as he told the man in the moon that he would be released if he promised never to rob the snares again. To make doubly sure, Rabbit asked him to promise that he would never return to earth, and the moon man swore that he would never do so. Rabbit could hardly see in the dazzling light, but at last he managed to gnaw through the bowstring with his teeth and the man in the moon soon disappeared in the sky, leaving a bright trail of light behind him.

Rabbit had been nearly blinded by the great light and his shoulders were badly scorched. Even today, rabbits blink as though light is too strong for their eyes, their eyelids are pink, and their eyes water if they look at a bright light. Their lips and nose twitch, telling of Rabbit's terror.

The man in the moon has never returned to earth. When he lights the world, one can still see the marks of the clay which Rabbit threw on his face. Sometimes he disappears for a few nights, when he is trying to rub the marks of the clay balls from his face. Then the world is dark; but when the man in the moon appears again, one can see that he has never been able to clean the clay marks from his shining face.

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Rabbit Brings Fire to the People

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:In the beginning, there was no fire and the earth was cold. Then the Thunderbirds sent their lightning to a sycamore tree on an island where the Weasels lived. The Weasels were the only ones who had fire and they would not give any of it away.

The People knew that there was fire on the island because they could see smoke coming from the sycamore, but the water was too deep for anyone to cross. When winter came, the people suffered so much from the cold that they called a council to find some way of obtaining fire from the Weasels. They invited all the animals who could swim.

"How shall we obtain fire?" the people asked.

Most of the animals were afraid of the Weasels because they were bloodthirsty and ate mice and moles and fish and birds. Rabbit was the only one who was brave enough to try to steal fire from them. "I can run and swim faster than the Weasels," he said. "I am also a good dancer. Every night the Weasels build a big fire and dance around it. Tonight, I will swim across and join in the dancing. I will run away with some fire."
He considered the matter for a while and then decided how he would do it. Before the sun set, he rubbed his head with pine pitch so as to make his hair stand up. Then, as darkness was falling, he swam across to the island.

The Weasels received Rabbit gladly because they had heard of his fame as a dancer. Soon they had a big fire blazing and all began dancing around it. As the Weasels danced, they approached nearer and nearer the fire in the center of the circle. They would bow to the fire and then dance backwards away from it.

When Rabbit entered the dancing circle, the Weasels shouted to him: "Lead us, Rabbit!" He danced ahead of them, coming closer and closer to the fire. He bowed to the fire, bringing his head lower and lower as if he were going to take hold of it. While the Weasels were dancing faster and faster, trying to keep up with him, Rabbit suddenly bowed very low so that the pine pitch in his hair caught fire in a flash of flame.

He ran off with his head ablaze, and the angry Weasels pursued him, crying, "Catch him! Catch him! He has stolen our sacred fire! Catch him!"

But Rabbit outran them and plunged into the water, leaving the Weasels on the shore. He swam across the water with the flames still blazing from his hair.

The Weasels called on the Thunderbirds to make it rain and extinguish the fire stolen by Rabbit. For three days rain poured down upon the earth, and the Weasels were sure that no fire was left burning except in their sycamore tree.

Rabbit, however, had built a fire in a hollow tree, and when the rain stopped and the sun shone, he came out and gave fire to all the People. After that, whenever it rained, they kept fires in their shelters, and that is how Rabbit brought fire to the People.

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Rabbit Shoots the Sun

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:It was the height of summer, the time of year called Hadotso, the Great Heat. All day long, from a blue and cloudless sky, the blazing sun beat down upon the earth. No rain had fallen for many days and there was not the slightest breath of wind to cool the stifling air. Everything was hot and dry. Even the rose-red cliffs of the canyons and mesas seemed to take on a more brilliant color than before.

The animals drooped with misery. They were parched and hungry, for it was too hot to hunt for food and, panting heavily, they sought what shade they could under the rocks and bushes.

Rabbit was the unhappiest of all. Twice that day the shimmering heat had tempted him across the baked earth towards visions of water and cool, shady trees. He had exhausted himself in his desperate attempts to reach them, only to find the mirages dissolve before him, receding further and further into the distance.

Now, tired and wretched, he dragged himself into the shadow of an overhanging rock and crouched there listlessly. His soft fur was caked with the red dust of the desert. His head swam and his eyes ached from the sun's glare.

'Why does it have to be so hot?' he groaned. 'What have we done to deserve such torment?' He squinted up at the sun and shouted furiously, 'Go away! You are making everything too hot!'

Sun took no notice at all and continued to pour down his fiery beams, forcing Rabbit to retreat once more into the shade of the rock. 'Sun needs to be taught a lesson,' grumbled Rabbit. 'I have a good mind to go and fight him. If he refuses to stop shining, I will kill him!'

His determination to punish Sun made him forget his weariness and, in spite of the oppressive heat, he set off at a run towards the eastern edge of the world where the Sun came up each morning.

In those days, Rabbit had beautiful white fur and was a strong and brave warrioir. As he ran, he practiced with his bow and arrows and he fought with everything which crossed his path. He fought with the gophers and the lizards. He hurled his throwing stick at beetles, ants and dragonflies. He shot at the yucca and the giant cactus. He became a very fierce rabbit indeed.

By the time he reached the edge of the world, Sun had left the sky and was nowhere to be seen.

'The coward!' sneered Rabbit. 'He is afraid to fight, but he will not escape me so easily,' and he settled to wait behind a clump of bushes.

In those days, Sun did not appear slowly at the beginning of each day as he does now. Instead he rushed up over the horizon and into the heavens with one mighty bound. Rabbit knew that he would have to act quickly in order to ambush him and he fixed his eyes intently on the spot where Sun usually appeared.

Sun, however, had heard all Rabbit's threats and had watched him fighting. He knew that he was lying in wait among the bushes. He was not at all afraid of this puny creature and he thought that he might have some amusement at his expense.

He rolled some distance away from his usual place and swept up into the sky before Rabbit knew what was happening. By the time Rabbit had gathered his startled wits and released his bowstring, Sun was already high above him and out of range.

Rabbit stamped and shouted with rage and vexation. Sun laughed and laughed and shone even more fiercely than before.

Although almost dead from heat, Rabbit would not give up. Next morning he tried again, but this time Sun came up in a different place and evaded him once more.

Day after day the same thing happened. Sometimes Sun sprang up on Rabbit's right, sometimes on his left and sometimes straight in front of him, but always where Rabbit least expected him.

After a few days of doingthis, Sun grew careless. He rose more leisurely than usual, and this time, Rabbit was ready. Swiftly he drew his bow. His arrow whizzed through the air and buried itself deep in Sun's side.

Rabbit was jubilant! At last he had shot his enemy! Wild with joy, he leaped up and down. He rolled on the ground, hugging himself. He turned somersaults. He looked at Sun again - and stopped short.

Where his arrow had pierce Sun, there was a gaping wound and from that wound there gushed a stream of liquid fire. Suddenly it seemed as if the whole world had been set ablaze. Flames shot up and rushed towards Rabbit, crackling and roaring.

Rabbit paused not a moment longer. He took to his heels in panic and ran as fast as he could away from the fire. He spied a lone cottonwood tree and scuttled towards it.

'Everything is burning!' he cried. 'Will you shelter me?'

The cottonwood shook its slender branches mournfully. 'What can I do?' it asked. 'I will be burned to the ground.'

Rabbit ran on. Behind him, the flames were coming closer. He could feel their breath on his back. A greasewood tree lay in his path.

'Hide me! Hide me!' Rabbit gasped. 'The fire is coming.'

'I cannot help you,' answered the greasewood tree. 'I will be burned up roots and branches.'

Terrified and almost out of breath, Rabbit continued to run, but his strength was failing. He could feel the fire licking at his heels and his fur was beginning to singe. Suddenly he heard a voice calling to him.

'Quickly, come under me!' The fire will pass over me so swiftly that it will only scorch my top.'

It was the voice of a small green bush with flowers like bunches of cotton capping its thin branches. Gratefully, Rabbit dived below it and lay there quivering, his eyes tightly shut, his ears flat against his body.

With a thunderous roar, the sheet of flame leaped overhead. The little bush crackled and sizzled. Then, gradually, the noise receded and everything grew quiet once more.

Rabbit raised his head cautiously and looked around. Everywhere the earth lay black and smoking, but the fire had passed on. He was safe!

The little bush which had sheltered him was no longer green. Burned and scorched by the fire, it had turned a golden yellow. People now call it the desert yellow brush, for, although it first grows green, it always turns yellow when it feels the heat of the sun.

Rabbit never recovered from his fright. To this day, he bears brown spots where the fire scorched the back of his neck. He is no longer fierce and quarrelsome, but runs and hides at the slightest noise.

As for Sun, he too was never quite the same. He now makes himself so bright that no one can look at him long enough to sight an arrow and he always peers very warily over the horizon before he brings his full body into view.

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Red Sloppity Lips

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:A boy was riding his bike along an old road and had become lost. He was trying to find his way back to a gas station to get directions when it began to rain. He pulled his jacket up over his head to help keep the rain away, but it began to rain harder. Then it began to thunder and lightning, so he knew that he must find shelter quickly.
Up ahead he saw an old abandoned house, so he ran onto the porch. Certainly nobody would mind. But the wind began to blow and blew the door right open. The wind blew so hard, that it blew the rain onto the porch soaking the boy even more. So he went inside to get out of the rain. The house was very large and though it was abandoned, dirty, full of cobwebs and in need of some repair, it kept the boy dry.

A big gust of wind blew in the door and then back out again, slamming the door shut. The boy tried to open the door, but the rain had caused the door to swell, wedging it in the door frame when it slammed. He could not open it.

Just then, he heard a voice call out, 'Do you know what I do with my red sloppity lips and my long green fingers?'
Next to the door was a large, green hairy monster with huge red lips, pointed fangs, and gangly legs and arms with very long green fingernails. The boy panicked and ran down the hall. The monster followed.

Again, he heard the monster say, 'Do you know what I do with my red sloppity lips and my long green fingers?' as he followed him down the hall.
The boy ran up some stairs at the end of the hall. And the monster pursued him.

The monster was getting closer, and he heard the monster say louder, 'Do you know what I do with my red sloppity lips and my long green fingers?'
The boy ran away from the monster down the hall at the top of the stairs and into a room at the end of the hall, closing the door behind him. But he heard loud footsteps coming down the hall. And he had run into a room with no windows, so he hid in the closet.
The bedroom door crashed open and again he heard the monster say even louder, 'Do you know what I do with my red sloppity lips and my long green fingers?'
The boy tucked himself into a corner of the closet and hid as best as he could. The closet door opened wide and the huge hairy monster stood before him. Again, so loud that it hurt the boy's ears, the monster once again said, 'Do you know what I do with my red sloppity lips and my long green fingers?'
The boy shook as he answered with fear in a quiet voice 'no'.
The monster said, 'Then I'll show you!'

BLBLBLBLBLBLBLBL (Put your fingers to your lips and strum them across your lips while you make a 'b' sound. Cross your eyes when you do this if you can. This should result in the desired silly effect.)

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Scouts on Goblin Hill

Intended for:All Scouts
Required:Materials to remote start a campfire.
Notes:Best told around a campfire. Fun for younger scouts if you remote start the campfire after paragraph 5.
Story:
By David Cluff
January 2009


Three Scouts had set out that day,
Hiking and singing in the usual way.
They traveled far, across many hills,
Looking for adventure and to prove their will.

Their singing and laughing carried them on,
The farther and farther from home they had gone.
But the jubilee subsided once darkness came.
From that point on the boys weren’t the same.

They lost track of time and had paid it no care.
Now they knew that they had better beware.
For the boys were not lost, no, they knew where they stood.
Upon Goblin Hill, the home of the haunted wood.

Shapes started forming and there where whispers from the trees.
Our Scouts made haste to find safer campgrounds than these.
They moved along at a skittish pace, scanning the wood grove for an unfamiliar face.
Soft voices were heard by the passing bats, cries of "look here!" and "what’s that?"

Panicked and trembling they moved along.
Long forgotten were their hiking songs.
But then the leader let his courage conspire and he proclaimed...
"We’re Scouts! Let's make fire!"

The light was cast and now they could see
That the night is a trickster and they’d been deceived.
There were no goblins, ghosts, or such.
They laughed to think that they had feared so much.

It was the trees and the animals that they saw and heard.
The juniper, skunk, the oak and the birds.
Together they joined to share stories and sing.
The mighty campfire! What a magical thing.

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Shaggy Dog

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Way up in the very north of Canada, there lived a trapper and his dog. His name was Sam - the trapper, not the dog. The dog's name was Rover and he was an extremely shaggy dog - I mean REALLY shagy.

Out in the wilderness, Sam did not get visitors nor much mail. But, he did have a newspaper subscription to help stay current with the world. Once a month a plane flew over and dropped out Sam's copy of the newspaper from the closest town which was 98 miles away.

Today just happened to be newspaper day so Sam picked up the paper, went to his cabin, made a cup of hot chocolate and sat down to read. After reading the entire paper, Sam noticed an interesting ad on the back page. It said that way down south in Minnesota an eccentric multi-millionaire was offering half his fortune if only someone would bring him his dying wish, a really shaggy dog.

Carefully he tore the item from the newspaper and placed it in his pocket. Whistling for Rover, he hurriedly packed for his journey. It would be a long haul through some of the worst of the winter months, but he could do it!

And so, with packsack and snowshoes, and Rover on a makeshift lead, he headed south.

(At this point you should add your own horrific tales of icy crevasses, blizzards, starvation, polar bears, thin ice, thick snow: anything to make the journey as difficult and as courageous as possible.)

Weeks passed as Sam and Rover, footsore, frostbitten and weak from lack of food, fought their way nearer and nearer to the millionaire's deathbed. Would they find his house? Would he have found another dog? Would he still be alive? Urgently, Sam asked at each trading post or small homestead he passed.

"My word, that's a shaggy dog you have there!" folks remarked whenever he stopped.
"That's the shagiest dog I've ever seen!"
"Is there a dog under all that shaggy hair?"

Finally, Sam and Rover reached the mansion of the multi-millionaire and stopped at the huge oak-studded front door. Raising a weather-beaten hand, Sam tugged at the wrought iron bell-pull. Distantly, the bell clanged. The door opened and a butler stood in the doorway.

"I've come about the shaggy dog ad in this newspaper," said Sam, carefully drawing out the clipping from his pocket and offering Rover's lead to the butler.

Silently, the butler withdrew with the dog. Sam listened to his footsteps cross the huge hall and climb the massive circular staircase. He waited patiently on the doorstep, dreaming of the luxury soon to be his. At last the butler reappeared. Solemnly, he handed back the dog.

"Not shaggy enough," he said, and shut the door.

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Short Scary Story with a Funny Ending

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:It's more of a joke than a story, but it's a good filler between other stories.
Story:Tell everyone that you've learned a new story that is really scary. But, don't worry because it has a funny ending. Tell them again that it is a vey short, very scary story, with a funny ending.
As a matter of fact, it is the world record shortest scary story with a funny ending.

BOO!
HA-HA-HA!

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Skunk Outwits Coyote

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Coyote was going along one day, feeling very hungry, when he met up with Skunk. "Hello, brother," Coyote greeted him. "You look hungry and so am I. If I lead the way, will you join me in a trick to get something to eat?"
"I will do whatever you propose," said Skunk.

"A prairie dog village is just over that hill. You go over there and lie down and play dead. I'll come along later and say to the prairie dogs, 'Come, let us have a dance over the body of our dead enemy.' "

Skunk wondered how they would ever get anything to eat by playing dead and dancing. "Why should I do this?" he asked. "Go on," Coyote said. "Puff yourself up and play dead."

Skunk went on to the prairie dog village and pretended to be dead. After a while Coyote came along and saw several prairie dogs playing outside their holes. They were keeping a distance between themselves and Skunk.

"Oh, look," cried Coyote, "our enemy lies dead before us. Come, we will have a dance to celebrate. Let everyone come out."

The foolish prairie dogs did as he told them. "Now," said Coyote, "let us all stand in a big circle and dance with our eyes closed. If anyone opens his eyes to look, he will turn into something bad."

As soon as the prairie dogs began dancing with their eyes closed, Coyote killed one of them. "Well, now," he called out, "let's all open our eyes." The prairie dogs did so, and were surprised to see one lying dead. "Oh, dear," said Coyote, "look at this poor fellow. He opened his eyes and died. Now, all of you, close your eyes and dance again. Don't look, or you too will die."

They began to dance once more, and one by one Coyote drew them out of the dance circle and killed them. At last, one of the prairie dogs became suspicious and opened his eyes. "Oh, Coyote is killing us!" he cried, and all the survivors ran to their holes and found safety in the burrows.

Skunk then stood up, laughing at how easily Coyote had worked his trick. He helped gather up some dry firewood and they began roasting the prairie dogs that Coyote had killed.

The cooking meat smelled so good that Coyote decided he wanted to eat the best of it himself. "Let's run a race," he said. "The one that wins will have his choice of the most delicious prairie dogs."

"No," replied Skunk, "you are too swift. I'm a slow runner and can never beat you."

"Well, I will tie a rock to my foot," Coyote said.

"If you will tie on a big rock, I will race you."

They decided to race around the bottom of the hill. "While I am tying this rock to my foot," Coyote said, "you go ahead. I'll give you a start and then catch you."

Skunk began to run and was soon out of sight around the hill. Coyote tied a rock to his foot and followed, slowly at first, but he soon kicked the rock loose and doubled his speed. Along the way, however, Skunk had found a brush pile, and he dashed in there and hid.

As soon as he saw Coyote go racing past, Skunk turned back to the fire. He raked all the roasted prairie dogs out of the coals, except for two small bony ones that he did not want. Then he cut off the tails and stuck them back in the ashes, and carried the meat away to the brush pile.

Meanwhile Coyote was still loping around the hill, confident that Skunk was running just ahead of him. As he hurried along, he said to himself, "I wonder where that fool Skunk is? I did not know that he could run so fast." He soon circled back to the cooking fire and saw the prairie dog tails sticking out of the ashes. He seized one and it slipped out. He tried another one. "Oh, but they are well cooked," he said. He tried another one. Then he suspected that something was wrong.

Taking a stick, Coyote raked through the coals, but he found only the two bony prairie dogs that Skunk had rejected. "Someone must have stolen our meat," he said, and then ate the two small tasteless ones.

Skunk, who by this time had feasted on the delicious meat, had crept to the top of the hill and was looking down at Coyote. As Coyote began searching all around to see who might have stolen the meat, Skunk threw some prairie dog bones down upon him.

Coyote glanced up and saw him. "You took all the delicious prairie dogs!" he cried. "Give me some of them."

"No," Skunk answered. "We ran a race for them. I beat you. I'm going to eat all of them."

Coyote begged and begged for some of the delicious prairie dogs, but while he was still pleading, Skunk swallowed the last morsel of meat. He was a better trickster than Coyote.

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Stone Soup

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:A weary, poor traveller arrived in a small village. He had no food or money and had not eaten in days. The one thing he did have was a cooking pot that he used on those rare occasions when he had something to cook.

He built a small cooking fire, placed his pot on it, and poured in some water. When a few villagers asked what he was doing, he replied that he was making Stone Soup which was an ancient tasty recipe passed down to him from his ancestors. He then dropped in a smooth, round stone he had in his pocket into the pot.

As the soup warmed, the traveller told the villagers stories of his travels and the exciting things he'd seen. He tasted his soup and said it was coming along nicely, but a bit of salt would bring out the flavor. One curious villager went into her home and returned with some salt for the soup.

A few more villagers walking by stopped to see what was going on when they heard the traveller speaking. The traveller told more stories and said that a couple carrots or onion would be a nice addition to the already delicious soup. So, another villager figured he could give a few carrots and retrieved them from his cellar.

This continued on with the traveller casually asking for onions, seasoning, a bit of meat, celery, potatos to bring out the full potential of the soup.

Finally, the soup was ready and everyone enjoyed the tasty meal prepared for them from just a stone, and a few other items.



Working together, with each of us contributing a bit, we can be successful.
Others will support a project that is underway and appearing successful more easily than commiting to a new project that has not yet started.

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Tale of Six Boys - Flag Raising on Mt. Suribachi

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:This is a copyrighted story by Michael Powers and can be read on his web site: Read the Story 

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The Christmas Scout

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:In spite of the fun and laughter, 13-year-old Frank Wilson was not happy. It was true he had received all the presents he wanted. And he enjoyed the traditional Christmas Eve reunions with relatives for the purpose of exchanging gifts and good wishes. But, Frank was not happy because this was his first Christmas without his brother, Steve, who during the year, had been killed by a reckless driver.

Frank missed his brother and the close companionship they had together. Frank said good-bye to his relatives and explained to his parents that he was leaving a little early to see a friend; and from there he could walk home. Since it was cold outside, Frank put on his new plaid jacket. It was his FAVORITE gift. He placed the other presents on his new sled. Then Frank headed out, hoping to find the patrol leader of his Boy Scout troop. Frank always felt understood by him. Though rich in wisdom, he lived in the Flats, the section of town where most of the poor lived, and his patrol leader did odd jobs to help support his family.

To Frank's disappointment, his friend was not at home. As Frank hiked down the street toward home, he caught glimpses of trees and decorations in many of the small houses. Then, through one front window, he glimpsed a shabby room with limp stockings hanging over an empty fireplace. A woman was seated nearby . . . weeping. The stockings reminded him of the way he and his brother had always hung theirs side by side. The next morning, they would be bursting with presents.

A sudden thought struck Frank : he had not done his 'good deed' for the day. Before the impulse passed, he knocked on the door. 'Yes?' the sad voice of the woman asked. 'May I come in?' asked Frank. 'You are very welcome,' she said, seeing his sled full of gifts, and assuming he was making a collection, 'but I have no food or gifts for you. I have nothing for my own children.'

'That's not why I am here,' Frank replied. 'Please choose whatever presents you would like for your children from the sled.'

'Why, God bless you!' the amazed woman answered gratefully. She selected some candies, a game, the toy airplane and a puzzle. When she took the Scout flashlight, Frank almost cried out. Finally, the stockings were full.

'Won't you tell me your name?' she asked, as Frank was leaving.

'Just call me the Christmas Scout,' he replied.

The visit left Frank touched, and with an unexpected flicker of joy in his heart. He understood that his sorrow was not the only sorrow in the world. Before he left the Flats, he had given away the remainder of his gifts. The plaid jacket had gone to a shivering boy.

Now Frank trudged homeward, cold and uneasy. How could he explain to his parents that he had given his presents away? 'Where are your presents, son?' asked his father as Frank entered the house.

Frank answered, 'I gave them away.'

'The airplane from Aunt Susan? Your coat from Grandma? Your flashlight? We thought you were happy with your gifts.'

'I was very happy,' the boy answered quietly.

'But Frank, how could you be so impulsive?' his mother asked. 'How will we explain to the relatives who spent so much time and gave so much love shopping for you?'

His father was firm. 'You made your choice, Frank. We cannot afford any more presents.'

With his brother gone, and his family disappointed in him, Frank suddenly felt dreadfully alone. He had not expected a reward for his generosity, for he knew that a good deed always should be its own reward. It would be tarnished otherwise. So he did not want his gifts back; however he wondered if he would ever again truly recapture joy in his life. He thought he had this evening, but it had been fleeting. Frank thought of his brother, and sobbed himself to sleep.

The next morning, he came downstairs to find his parents listening to Christmas music on the radio. Then the announcer spoke: 'Merry Christmas, everybody! The nicest Christmas story we have this morning comes from the Flats. A crippled boy down there has a new sled this morning, another youngster has a fine plaid jacket, and several families report that their children were made happy last night by gifts from a teenage boy who simply called himself the Christmas Scout. No one could identify him, but the children of the Flats claim that the Christmas Scout was a personal representative of old Santa Claus himself.'

Frank felt his father's arms go around his shoulders, and he saw his mother smiling through her tears. 'Why didn't you tell us? We didn't understand. We are so proud of you, son.'

The carols came over the air again filling the room with music: '. . .Praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on Earth.'

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The Crane and the Frogs

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:It is not wise to boast too loudly.
Story:In the heart of the woods there lay a cool, green pond. The shores of the pond were set with ranks of tall bulrushes that waved crisply in the wind, and in the shallow bays there were fleets of broad water lily leaves. Among the rushes and reeds and in the quiet water there dwelt a large tribe of Frogs.
On every warm night of spring, the voices of the Frogs arose in a cheerful chorus. Some voices were low and deep - these were the oldest and wisest of the Frogs; at least, they were old enough to have learned wisdom. Some were high and shrill, and these were the voices of the little Frogs who did not like to be reminded of the days when they had tails and no legs.
"Kerrump! kerrump! I'm chief of this pond!" croaked a very large bullfrog, sitting in the shade of a water lily leaf.
"Kerrump! kerrump! I'm chief of this pond!" replied a hoarse voice from the opposite bank.
"Kerrump! kerrump! I'm chief of this pond!" boasted a third old Frog from the furthest shore of the pond.
Now a long-legged white Crane was standing near by, well hidden by the coarse grass that grew at the water's edge. He was very hungry that evening, and when he heard the deep voice of the first Bullfrog he stepped briskly up to him and made a quick pass under the broad leaf with his long, cruel bill. The old Frog gave a frightened croak, and kicked violently in his efforts to get away, while over the quiet pond, splash! splash! went the startled little Frogs into deep water.
The Crane almost had him, when something cold and slimy wound itself about one of his legs. He drew back for a second, and the Frog got safely away! But the Crane did not lose his dinner after all, for about his leg was curled a large black water snake, and that made a fair meal.
Now he rested awhile on one leg, and listened. The first Frog was silent, but from the opposite bank the second Frog croaked boastfully:
"Kerrump! kerrump! I'm chief of this pond!"
The Crane began to be hungry again. He went round the pond without making any noise, and pounced upon the second Frog, who was sitting up in plain sight, swelling his chest with pride, for he really thought now that he was the sole chief of the pond.
The Crane's head and most of his long neck disappeared under the water, and all over the pond the little Frogs went splash! splash! into the deepest holes to be out of the way.
Just as he had the Frog by one hind leg, the Crane saw something that made him let go, flap his broad wings and fly awkwardly away to the furthest shore. It was a mink, with his slender brown body and wicked eyes, and he had crept very close to the Crane, hoping to seize him at his meal! So the second Frog got away too; but he was so dreadfully frightened that he never spoke again.
After a long time the Crane got over his fright and he became very hungry once more. The pond had been still so long that many of the Frogs were singing their pleasant chorus, and above them all there boomed the deep voice of the third and last Bullfrog, saying:
"Kerrump! kerrump! I'm chief of this pond!"
The Crane stood not far from the boaster, and he determined to silence him once for all. The next time he began to speak, he had barely said "Kerrump!" whe the Crane had him by the leg. He croaked and struggled in vain, and in another moment he would have gone down the Crane's long throat. But just then a Fox crept up behind the Crane and seized him! The Crane let go the Frog and was carried off screaming into the woods for the Fox's supper. So the third Frog got away; but he was badly lamed by the Crane's strong bill, and he never dared to open his mouth again.

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The Med and Sin

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:Also see The Medicrin story and The Medic Men story
Story:In a far off land, there lived a courageous explorer and inventor named Sinbad - all his friends just called him Sin.
Sin always dreamed of being rich so he spent all his time inventing new ways to explore strange places in the hopes of finding treasure.
One day, he heard about a magical castle up in the clouds where there were rooms and rooms filled with gold and jewels. Of course, Sin wanted this.
So, after working for a month, he invented the Mechanical Elevating Device, also called the MED for short. The Med was much like a hot air baloon, but it was huge and it had 4 rooms hung underneath it. One room was where Sin piloted the Med, 1 room was for food storage for his adventure, and 2 rooms to hold all the riches he was sure to find.
After testing the Med and planning his trip, Sin waved goodbye to his friends and floated up, up, up into the sky, looking for clouds that were likely hiding places for a castle - preferably a castle filled with gold and jewels.
After searching for weeks, his food nearly gone, and the Med running low on hot air, Sin FINALLY spotted a castle up ahead! But, besides the castle, there was a small town complete with shoeshop, bakery, grocery store, and small houses. There was also a skydock where he could park his ship next to a couple of dirigibles and gliders.
When he landed (or clouded), Sin was warmly greeted by the mayor of the town and led up to the castle to meet the king. After a nice dinner and chocolate cream pie for dessert, the king gave him a tour of the castle. As you might suspect, there really were rooms full to the ceiling with gold and jewels. Also, since the castle was safe up in the clouds, there were no guards or watchdogs or alarms or locks. Sin was very happy indeed.
When the tour finished, Sin was shown to his room and prepared for bed. At about midnight, he snuck out of his room and found that everyone else was sound asleep. So, he found a horse with a wagon and filled it with treasure, drove it to the Med, and unloaded it. He repeated this all night until the 2 storage rooms in the Med were packed to the ceiling.
Satisfied with his plunder, Sin got in the Med to descend with his loot. But, since his food room was now empty, the Med was still too light to descend to safety.
Sin didn't have time to make another trip up to the castle and he knew the king would be waking up any minute. Looking around, the closest building was the bakery so he ran in to find heavy things to load on the Med.
He carried off a great wedding cake and threw it in the Med. Then, he took some devil's food cake, then some pound cake, then buckets of frosting and huge bags of sugar.
Just as he dumped the last box of sugar-frosted, cream-filled, chocolate-flavored donuts into the Med filling the room to the very rafters, the king came running out of the castle, yelling and hollering for help. The villagers came out of their houses and ran to help their king.
Sin jumped in the Med, untied it from the skydock and dropped from sight just as the king reached the dock, shaking his fist in anger at Sin.

Sin grabbed a powdered sugar donut to snack on while the Med brought himhome. Sin floated safely down to earth where be became the most wealthy man on earth and lived happily ever after.


Which just goes to show: A room full of sugar helps the Med and Sin go down.


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The Medic Men

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:Also see The Medicrin story and The Med and Sin story
Story:Now-a-days, mining companies have bloodhounds that they use to find trapped miners in cave-ins. They lead the Medics with their first aid kits down to the miners so they can be treated and brought back to the surface. But, there have always been people trying to find animals that are better at tracking than the bloodhounds in the hopes of saving more lives.
One man, Theodore Stanislaus, believed raccoons would be great if they could just be trained. Since raccoons can smell candy inside backpacks inside tents and rip them apart, they should be able to detect human odor down in caves. Theodore did experiments, trained raccoons, and performed tests. He had great success and was soon ready to run his best raccoon against the mining company's best bloodhound to see which was better.
The date was set and everyone was anxious to see what Stanislaus's raccoon could do. Unfortunately, the day before the race, Theodore's pet became sick. It had caught a cold and its nose was stuffed up. But, Theodore could not back out now - he had to go through with the race.
For the race, 13 volunteer miners were lowered into the mine and given 1/2 hour to disperse into different hiding spots. Then the dog would have 1 hour to find as many men as it could. After that, the test would be repeated for the raccoon.

The 13 miners were lowered in...
A 1/2 hour passed...
Just at the time the dog was to start, a low rumble came belching up out of the mine - CAVE IN! Dust came blowing out the cave entrance.

Quickly, the Medic men got their real gear together and the bloodhound and his trainer headed into the cave. Less than 15 minutes later, they were back - no luck. The dog could find no scent and they could not locate the men.
Theodore said to give him and his raccoon with the sniffles a chance. Having nothing to lose, the medic men followed Theodore into the cave right behind his raccoon - even though the raccoon had a terrible cold and his nose was stuffed with boogers. They followed the coon down, down, down deeper and deeper into the depths of the cave.
That coon was sniffling and sneezing right and left, up and down, but kept on going. Stanislaus had to stop once in awhile to wipe the boogers off the coon's nose. Finally, it came to a sheer cliff face dropping off down, down to the darkness below. It jumped right off the cliff following the scent, but luckily, Theodore had hold of its leash and pulled it back up. Some of the medic men rigged a sling and lowered Theodore, his sick coon, and the rest of the medic men down the cliff. At the bottom, they found all 13 miners in bad condition. But, none were dead! The medic men patched them up, hoisted them up, and everyone made it out alive - thanks to Theodore and his raccoon.

Which just goes to show: A coon full of boogers helps the Medic men go down.

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The Medicrin
A Favorite Story

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:Also see The Med and Sin story and The Medic Men story which I made up as follow-ons.
Story:Long ago, before Gamecubes, before Playstations, even before Atari, there were nasty, vile monsters roaming the land. In those days, a few brave, strong men made their living by protecting common people from these beasts. This is a story about one such man named Erik and the adventure he had.

There was a small village on the edge of a wide prairie, next to a very thick forest that led up into the cold, dark mountains. In these mountains lived the dreaded Medicrin. The Medicrin would stalk down from the mountains in the dead of night, sneak into the village, and snatch a sleeping villager. He would take the poor soul away and eat him for breakfast. This happened every week so you can imagine the villagers became quite tired of it.

The terrified villagers called a meeting, and decided to hire the greatest hero around - Erik the Brave!

Erik rode into town on his trusty steed, entered the city hall, and listened to the story the villagers told of the monster that attacked at night each week. When they were finished, Erik told them he would have a plan in the morning and he went to his hotel room.

In his room, he consulted his Great Hero's Book of Vile Monsters, and found the chapter about the Medicrin. He learned that Medicrins stink like rotten eggs. He learned they have 6 fingers with long claws. He learned they never brush their teeth. He learned they have very good noses. And he learned they love to eat human flesh, but even more, they love to eat Loons.

So, early the next morning, actually very, very early the next morning, Erik hunted high and low, near and far, to find a loon. He finally found one just before breakfast, captured it, tied it up, and brought it back to the village. He then told the villagers his plan.
He had them dig a pit that was 20 feet deep (because the Medicrin was 9 feet tall) and 10 feet around. While they were digging, Erik tied a big rock to the leg of the loon, so it could not fly away.
When the pit was finished, just about a half hour before sunset, Erik tossed in the rock, and of course the loon went in too. Then, he told the villagers to go to their homes while he waited for the Medicrin.
Erik jumped in the bushes and waited with his great broadsword with which to slay the Medicrin.

That night, the Medicrin snuck into the village . . .
It smelled the loon . . .
It came closer to the pit . . .
But then it smelled DANGER, and it ran off. On the way out of the village, it grabbed one of the villagers for a snack.

Needless to say, the villagers were not happy. Some demanded their money back, others wanted to throw Erik into the pit. After calming the villagers, the next day, Erik again consulted his Great Hero's Book of Vile Monsters, and learned more about the Medicrin. He learned it wore the same underwear for 3 weeks in a row. He learned it could not sing at all, but enjoyed listening to opera music. But, most importantly, he learned that Medicrins love sugar more than anything else in the world, even turnip-spinach surprise!

So, Erik used some of the money the villagers had given him and rode his trusty steed to the next village, bought all the sugar he could carry and returned - this took two days because villages were far apart in those days. The next day, he rode to a different village and bought their sugar. The next day, he went to yet another village. It had now been a week and the Medicrin was due to come again this night.
Erik gathered all this sugar and threw it into the pit. The loon, that was still stuck down in the pit, had not eaten in a week now and was extremely hungry. As fast as Erik could throw the sugar in the pit, the loon ate it up. It ate ALL the sugar!

Erik was struck with panic, and ran to and fro trying to figure out what to do next, but night had fallen, and the Medicrin would be there soon, so Erik crossed his fingers, and hoped for the best.

That night, the Medicrin came . . .
It smelled the loon . . .
It came closer to the pit . . .
It smelled sugar . . .
It came closer to the pit . . .
It smelled DANGER and turned to run away.
But, that smell of sugar was just too overpowering.
It couldn't resist.
The Medicrin ran up and dove down into the pit.
And, it was trapped!
Brave Erik leaped from behind the bush, raised his sword, and jumped down onto the Medicrin, driving his sword into its neck, and slew it.

Which just goes to show: A loon full of sugar helps the Medicrin go down.


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Two Traveling Angels

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it.
When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, "Things aren't always what they seem."
The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest.
When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.
The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel, "How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die."
"Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied. "When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it."
"Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem."

Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don't turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you need to trust that the outcome has a purpose. You just might not know it until some time later...

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Up a Paddle

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:There was one person that loved canoeing but every time he bent over to pick up his paddle, he'd get an awful crick in his back. It hurt something fierce so he went to see the doctor.
The doctor checked his back and could find nothing wrong, but he gave him some advice. He said that if it happens again, instead of just picking up the paddle he should grab it with both hands, stick the end of it in the ground, and slowly pull himself up hand over hand to the top of the paddle.

Well, on the next canoe trip, the person reached for his paddle and Wham! that crick in his back started hurting again. Following the doctor's advice he stuck the paddle in the ground and, hand over hand, worked his way up the paddle.

When he was finally standing up his back didn't hurt and he was very pleased to find himself   Up a Paddle without a Crick.

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Vinder Viper
A Favorite Story

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:The punch line should be delivered as a little old German man with such an accent.
Story:Years ago, a man inherited a house from his great uncle who died in the war. The house sat on a hill outside of town in the next state and rumors were told that it was haunted. The man traveled to the town to inspect the house and found that it was a wonderful old mansion in great condition, but very, very old. So, he decided to move in and enjoy his inheritance.

A couple weeks after he moved in, late at night, the phone rang. When he answered it, a voice said, "I am the Vinder Viper. I will be there in 2 weeks!" and then it hung up before he could say anything. This really shook the man. The next day, he searched the Internet under 'snakes' for 'vinder viper' but found nothing.

A week past with no concerns and again, late one night, the phone rang. "I am the Vinder Viper. I will be there in 1 week!" and hung up. This made the man quite nervous, not knowing what a vinder viper was. He asked around the town, and no one had ever heard of any such viper.

Four days later, late at night, the phone rang. "I am the Vinder Viper. I will be there in 2 days!" The man is getting much more concerned now.

The next night, the phone rang. "I am the Vinder Viper. I will be there tomorrow!" Needless to say, the man is just plain scared now.

The next evening, the phone rang. "I am the Vinder Viper. I will be there in 1 hour!" The man tries to leave, but his car battery is dead.

Nearly an hour later, the phone rang. "I am the Vinder Viper. I will be there in 2 minutes!" The man runs around locking all the windows and doors and calls 911. The police are on their way.

Soon, there was a knock at the door. The man opened the door a crack and asked, "Is that the police?"

"No, I am the vinder viper. I come every month to vash and vipe your vindows."

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White Deer Named Virginia Dare

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Along the bay islands, where the pale people set up their first permanent settlement, there was born a child, the one known as Virginia Dare. And the people of the islands, the Chesapeake people, called the newborn White Fawn. Around the pine-speckled islands and sea-grass peninsulas, her story was told. It said that upon the child's death, her spirit would assume the form of a frosted fawn whose face, because her race had come from across the sea, would always gaze wistfully in that direction, as if yearning for that faraway shore. The story went on to say that if ever a runner should catch the fawn after she was fully grown into a white deer and shoot her with an arrow whose head was cast of silver, this would restore her to mortal form.

Now, the far banks and islands of coasts, not often met by travelers, were home to the Hatteras people, but the long salt-bitten winters presided over by hungry moons separated them from their pale friends, and in time, they lost touch with one another. One autumn day, a hunter named Little Oak came upon some ruined, abondoned log houses in the saw grass of the settlement of Roanoke. There were no pale people living there anymore; the berry brambles and rose hips had grown up between the cracks of the wind-washed logs. Slow autumn turtles lay by the cold hearthsides of cracked ashen clay. All that the hunter named Little Oak could find was an old baby's rattle, clutched by the claws of a rose thorn. Then he spied a beautiful white doe. By instinct, he drew his bow, but he would not let the arrow loose, holding it in check, the barred turkey feathers itching at his ear.

Time passed and the white doe was well known amoung the hunters of Roanoke Island. Often she was seen browsing amid the brown herd of deer that lived there. But she always remained apart, turning her head to the east, sad-eyed and dreaming on the direction of the distant sea. Those who were compelled to hunt her said that their arrows, though well-aimed, fell harmless at her hooves...whereupon she would leap with the west wind, swift as milkweed down, bounding the sand hills, driving the quick curlews and iron-winged cranes up into the cold gray, slate-colored sky.

Talk of the white doe flowed like a river tumbling from its source in the clefted rocks; it went various ways. Some of the people had fear of the animal, thinking her spirit was one of desolation. They said none but the spirit deer could travel the high grassy grounds od Croatan and yet the same day be seen in the cranberry bogs of East Lake.

Always sad, head ever turned toward the eastern-glinting sea, always beautiful, always a little apart, the white doe danced in a dream of her own making. Then, early one autumn, the people of the islands decided what to do: They would hold a great deer hunt, and all the finest bow hunters would be invited to join in. Afterward, there would be a feast and celebration. Now the plan, they say, was to hunt the milk white doe. If any runner or hunter...and all the best were gathered there...could bring her down with an arrow, then all would know if she was flesh or spirit; and, thereafter, if she should prevail, then no one would ever go after her again. It was thus decreed, and the hunt and race was on. Some took to the high sunburned mounds above the sound; some went to the low thistle meadows of the flat ocean islands. Hunters and runners alike spread out like a peat fire across good ground, quaking ground, low ground and high; and the bird-swept prairies rang with their chants. The best bows were drawn and the straightest arrows nocked. Only one hunter, however, had an arrow with a cast-silver tip that had come from over the sea from the island known as England...a silver arrow point given, they say, by the great queen herself. This was a thing that could, it was told, reach the heart of even the most charmed lives.

And it happened that the swift doe was chased from the rank grass of the shaky land; a bowstring's angry twang sent her flying on the north wind's breath. Through tangled wood and trailless bog, through morass and highland, she sped. And the myriad bowstrings made the sounds of harmless bees in the wake of her whiteness. She plunged on through the billows of the sound, reaching the sand hills on Roanoke. Here, she stood atop the ruins of the old fort, gray-logged and silvery-splintered, breathing the easternmost breeze from afar, panting, her small tongue flickering like a pink petal. Now, in the deep, wind-blown grass, Little Oak appeared, took aim at the glowing form before him, and let loose the fated bowstring that burned the air and sent the silver-headed arrow on an irretrievable mission. The beautiful sad-eyed doe leapt, heart pierced, into the air and sank desparately to the ground. Then Little Oak threw down his bow, ran to her side, lifted the head of snow, soft as a cloud, looked into the dying eyes, and saw, suddenly, the face of a pretty young woman, who, through dry, heart-spent lips, whispered her name, Virginia Dare, and died.

So goes the story. And the lost Virginia Dare, what of her? Did she die in infancy? Did her child bones mingle with the dust of her legend and blossom in the wild roses of Croatan? Did she ever grow to womanhood? Did she end her life in whatever darkness that still enshrouds the lost pale colony that vanished into the deep mists?

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Why Crow Is Black

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:In days long past, when the earth and the people on it were still young, all crows were white as snow. In those ancient times, the people had neither horses nor firearms nor weapons of iron. Yet they depended upon the buffalo hunt to give them enough food to survive. Hunting the big buffalo on foot with stone-tipped weapons was hard, uncertain, and dangerous. The crows made things even more difficult for the hunters, because they were friends of the buffalo. Soaring high above the prairie, they could see everything that was going on. Whenever they spied hunters approaching a buffalo herd, they flew to their friends and, perching between their horns, warned them: "Caw, caw, caw, cousins, hunters are coming. They are creeping up through that gully over there. They are coming up behind that hill. Watch out! Caw, caw, caw!" Hearing this, the buffalo would stampede, and the people starved.

The people held a council to decide what to do. Now, among the crows was a huge one, twice as big as all the others. This crow was their leader. One wise old chief got up and made this suggestion: "We must capture the big white crow," he said, "and teach him a lesson. It's either that or go hungry."

He brought out a large buffalo skin, with the head and horns still attached. He put it on the back of a young brave, saying: "Nephew, sneak among the buffalo. They will think you are one of them, and you can capture the big white crow. "Disguised as a buffalo, the young man crept among the herd as if he were grazing. The big, shaggy beasts paid him no attention. Then the hunters marched out from their camp after him, their bows at the ready. As they approached the herd, the crows came flying, as usual, warning the buffalo: "Caw, caw caw, cousins, the hunters are coming to kill you. Watch out for their arrows. Caw, caw, caw!" and as usual, all the buffalo stampeded off and away:all, that is, except the young hunter in disguise under his shaggy skin, who pretended to go on grazing as before.

Then the big white crow came gliding down, perched on the hunter's shoulders, and flapping his wings, said: "Caw, caw, caw, brother, are you deaf? The hunters are close by, just over the hill. Save yourself!" But the young brave reached out from under the buffalo skin and grabbed the crow by his legs. With a rawhide string he tied the big bird's feet and fastened the other end to a stone. No matter how the crow struggled, he could not escape.

Again the people sat in a council. "What shall we do with the big, bad crow, who has made us go hungry again and again?" "I'll burn him up!" answered one angry hunter, and before anybody could stop him, he yanked the crow from the hands of his captor and thrust it into the council fire ring, string, stone and all. "This will teach you," he said. Of course, the string that held the stone burned through almost at once, and the big crow managed to fly out of the fire. But he was badly singed, and some of his feathers were charred. Though he was still big, he was no longer white. "Caw, caw, caw," he cried, flying away as quickly as he could, "I'll never do it again. "I'll stop warning the buffalo, and so will all the Crow nation. I promise! Caw, caw, caw." Thus the crow escaped. But ever since, all crows have been black.

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Why Opposum's Tail is Bare

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:In the beginning all living things - men, animals, plants and trees - spoke the same language and behaved in much the same way. Animals, like people, were organized into tribes. They had chiefs, lived in houses, held councils and ceremonies.

Many animals had characteristics which we would not recognize today. The rabbit, for example, was fierce, bold and cunning, and a great mischief maker. It was through Rabbit's tricks that the deer lost his sharp wolf-like teeth, the buzzard his handsome topknot of feathers and the opossum his long, bushy tail.

Opossum was very proud of his tail which, in those days, was covered with thick black fur. He spent long hours cleaning and brushing it. Sometimes, when he walked through the village, he carried his tail erect, like a banner rippling in the breeze. At other times, he swept it low behind him, like a train. It was useful as well as beautiful, for when Opossum lay down to sleep, he tucked it under him to make a soft bed, and in cold weather he folded it over his body to keep himself warm.

Rabbit was very jealous of Opossum's tail. He, too, had once had a long bushy tail but, during the course of a fight with Bear, he had lost most of it and now had only a short fluffy tuft. The sight of Opossum strutting before the other animals and swirling his tail, filled Rabbit with rage and he made up his mind to play a trick on him at the first opportunity.

At this time, when the animals still lived harmoniously together, each had his appointed station and duty. Thus, Frog was leader in the council and Rabbit, because of his speed, was employed to carry messages and announcements to the others.

The animals decided to hold a great council to discuss important matters. Rabbit was given the task of arranging the gathering and delivering the invitations. Councils were also occasions for feasting and dancing and Rabbit saw a way of bringing about Opossum's downfall.

When Rabbit arrived with the news of the meeting, Opossum was sitting by the door of his lodge engaged in his favorite occupation - grooming his tail.

'I come to call you to the great council tomorrow, brother Opossum,' said Rabbit. 'Will you attend and join in the dance?'

'Only if I am given a special seat,' replied the conceited Opossum, carefully smoothing some untidy hairs at the tip of his tail. 'After all,' he went on, grinning maliciously at Rabbit, 'I have such a beautiful long tail that I ought to sit where everyone can see and admire it.'

Rabbit was almost beside himself with fury, but he pretended not to notice the jibe and said, 'But of course, brother Opossum! I will personally see to it that you have the best seat in the council lodge, and I will also send someone to dress your tail specially for the dance.'

Opossum was delighted by this suggestion and Rabbit left him singing the praises of his tail even more loudly than usual.

Next, Rabbit called on the cricket, whom Indians call the barber, because of his fame as an expert hair-cutter. Cricket listened with growing amazement as Rabbit recounted his conversation with Opossum. Like all the other animals, he found Opossum's vanity and arrogance very tiresome.

He began to protest, but Rabbit held up a paw and said, 'Wait a moment. I have a plan and I need your help. Listen...', and he dropped his voice as he told Cricket what he wanted him to do.

Early next morning Cricket presented himself at Opossum's door and said that he had been sent by Rabbit to prepare the famous tail for the council that evening. Opossum made himself comfortable on the floor and stretched out his tail. Cricket began to comb it gently.

'I will wrap this red cord round your tail as I comb it,' he explained, 'so that it will remain smooth and neat for the dance tonight.'

Opossum found Cricket's ministrations so soothing that he fell asleep, awakening just as Cricket was tying the final knot in the red cord which now completely swathed his tail.

'I will keep it bound up until the very last moment,' thought Opossum gleefully. 'How envious the others will be when I finally reveal it in all its beauty!'

That evening, his tail still tightly wrapped in the red cord, Opossum marched into the council lodge and was led to his special seat by a strangely quiet Rabbit.

Soon it was time for the dancing to take place. The drums and rattles began to sound. Opossum stood up, loosened the cord from his tail and stepped proudly into the center of the dance floor as he let the cord unravel behind him. He began to sing.

'Look at my beautiful tail!' he sang as he circled the floor. 'See how it sweeps the ground!'

There was a great shout from the audience and some of the animals began to applaud. 'How they admire me!' though Opossum and he continued dancing and singing loudly. 'See how my tail gleams in the firelight!'

Again everyone shouted and cheered. Opossum began to have just the merest suspicion that all was not quite as it should be. Was there possibly a hint of mockery in their voices? He dismissed such an absurd idea and continued dancing.

'My tail is stronger than the eagle's, more lustrous than the raven's!'

At this the animals shrieked so loudly that Opossum stopped in his tracks and looked at them. To his astonishment and chagrin they were all convulsed with laughter, some leaning weakly on their neighbor's shoulders, others rolling on the ground in their mirth. Several were pointing at his tail.

Bewildered, Opossum looked down behind himself and saw to his horror that his tail, his beautiful, thick, glossy tail, was now bald and scaly like that of a lizard. Nothing remained of its former glory. While pretending to comb it, the wily Cricket had snipped off every single hair!

Opossum was so overcome with shame and confusion that he could not utter a sound. Instead he rolled over helplessly on his back, grimacing with embarrassment, just as opossums still do today, when taken by surprise.

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Why the North Star Stands Still

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Long, long ago, when the world was young, the People of the Sky were so restless and traveled so much that they made trails in the heavens. Now, if we watch the sky all through the night, we can see which way they go.

But one star does not travel. That is the North Star. He cannot travel. He cannot move. When he was on the earth long, long ago, he was known as Na-gah, the mountain sheep, the son of Shinoh. He was brave, daring, sure-footed, and courageous. His father was so proud of him and loved him so much that he put large earrings on the sides of his head and made him look dignified, important, and commanding.

Every day, Na-gah was climbing, climbing, climbing. He hunted for the roughest and the highest mountains, climbed them, lived among them, and was happy. Once in the very long ago, he found a very high peak. Its sides were steep and smooth, and its sharp peak reached up into the clouds. Na-gah looked up and said, 'I wonder what is up there. I will climb to the very highest point.'

Around and around the mountain he traveled, looking for a trail. But he could find no trail. There was nothing but sheer cliffs all the way around. This was the first mountain Na-gah had ever seen that he could not climb.

He wondered and wondered what he should do. He felt sure that his father would feel ashamed of him if he knew that there was a mountain that his son could not climb. Na-gah determined that he would find a way up to its top. His father would be proud to see him standing on the top of such a peak.

Again and again he walked around the mountain, stopping now and then to peer up the steep cliff, hoping to see a crevice on which he could find footing. Again and again, he went up as far as he could, but always had to turn around and come down. At last he found a big crack in a rock that went down, not up. Down he went into it and soon found a hole that turned upward. His heart was made glad. Up and up he climbed.

Soon it became so dark that he could not see, and the cave was full of loose rocks that slipped under his feet and rolled down. Soon he heard a big, fearsome noise coming up through the shaft at the same time the rolling rocks were dashed to pieces at the bottom. In the darkness he slipped often and skinned his knees. His courage and determination began to fail. He had never before seen a place so dark and dangerous. He was afraid, and he was also very tired.

'I will go back and look again for a better place to climb,' he said to himself. 'I am not afraid out on the open cliffs, but this dark hole fills me with fear. I'm scared! I want to get out of here!'

But when Na-gah turned to go down, he found that the rolling rocks had closed the cave below him. He could not get down. He saw only one thing now that he could do: He must go on climbing until he came out somewhere.

After a long climb, he saw a little light, and he knew that he was coming out of the hole. 'Now I am happy,' he said aloud. 'I am glad that I really came up through that dark hole.'

Looking around him, he became almost breathless, for he found that he was on the top of a very high peak! There was scarcely room for him to turn around, and looking down from this height made him dizzy. He saw great cliffs below him, in every direction, and saw only a small place in which he could move. Nowhere on the outside could he get down, and the cave was closed on the inside..,

'Here I must stay until I die,' he said. 'But I have climbed my mountain! I have climbed my mountain at last!'

He ate a little grass and drank a little water that he found in the holes in the rocks. Then he felt better. He was higher than any mountain he could see and he could look down on the earth, far below him.

About this time, his father was out walking over the sky. He looked everywhere for his son, but could not find him. He called loudly, 'Na-gah! Na-gah!' And his son answered him from the top of the highest cliffs. When Shinoh saw him there, he felt sorrowful, to himself, 'My brave son can never come down. Always he must stay on the top of the highest mountain. He can travel and climb no more.'

'I will not let my brave son die. I will turn him into a star, and he can stand there and shine where everyone can see him. He shall be a guide mark for all the living things on the earth or in the sky.'

And so Na-gah became a star that every living thing can see. It is the only star that will always be found at the same place. Always he stands still. Directions are set by him. Travelers, looking up at him, can always find their way. He does not move around as the other stars do, and so he is called 'the Fixed Star.' And because he is in the true north all the time, our people call him Qui-am-i Wintook Poot-see. These words mean 'the North Star.'

Besides Na-gah, other mountain sheep are in the sky. They are called 'Big Dipper' and 'Little Dipper.' They too have found the great mountain and have been challenged by it. They have seen Na- gah standing on its top, and they want to go on up to him.

Shinoh, the father of North Star, turned them into stars, and you may see them in the sky at the foot of the big mountain. Always they are traveling. They go around and around the mountain, seeking the trail that leads upward to Na-gah, who stands on the top. He is still the North Star.

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Wisest Indian

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:There were once four wise Indian medicine men who were considered to be the most clever and knowledgeable across all the prairies and forests. They learned nearly everything about nearly anything and were often asked for advice and to find solutions for the most difficult problems.

One day, a young Indian boy asked which of the four was the wisest because of course there must be one more wise than the others. This caused much arguing and debating among the people. To find out once and for all, one of the elders of the nation was given the task of devising a test to settle the matter.

After much consideration, the perfect test was put before them. The four medicine men were told to walk into the woods. Their test would be found at the base of a single cedar tree in a broad clearing. They started out early the next morning and, after walking many miles, came to the tree in the clearing. At the base of the tree was a large pile of bleached bones. They appeared to be those of some sort of animal.

The four puzzled over the bones for some time before the first man spoke. "I will use my knowledge to put these bones back together. That will prove my wisdom." After some time, the bones stood erect and interlocking.

The men examined the project and the second man said, "Ah! I know where these bones came from. I can put flesh and fur back on them and restore the animal's beauty." The second man began his work, and in a while a fierce-looking grizzly bear stood before them.

The four men marveled at the animal's beauty, but the two began to bicker about which one's work was best. Just then, the third man spoke up. "I believe I can bring the bear back the life. Then I will be the greatest of all."

The fourth man had been quiet until now. "Wait! I don't think our test was to see if we could bring the animal back to life." He pleaded, but the others would not listen. When he realized he was being ignored, he quietly climbed to the top of the cedar tree and watched.

The third man got busy and soon had breathed life into the grizzly bear using his great talents. The bear stretched and roared. Then he chased the men growling and clawing at them. He chased them all the way back to their village where they were finally rescued by the village's mighty hunters.

Later, the fourth wise man walked back to the village. Everyone had taken him for dead, the others were so busy arguing they did not see him climb the tree. It was then that everyone realized that he was indeed the wisest of all.

He possessed common sense - something that is often not so common.

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Witch in the Tower

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:Once upon a time, people in the Japanese city of Kyoto were terribly afraid; they shook with fear. A fierce witch had taken possession of the tower over the city gate which she opened and closed whenever she felt like it. She was capable of locking the gate in the face of travellers bringing food and merchandise, or throwing it wide open to savage tribes from the north.

Many brave Samurai, the strongest and best fighters, had faced up to the witch, but the minute she set eyes on them, she hurled herself out of the tower, hair flying in the wind, screeching furiously and brandishing a fiery sword. Attacking them one by one, she left them lying dead in the dust. No, there was no hope for the city of Kyoto, and many people began to think of leaving it. The folk were murmuring, "All our Samurai are dead. If only Watanabi were still here, the bravest of them all! But all that remains is his sword, and there's no one able to use it."

However, the sword was not all that remained of valiant Watanabi, there was also his son, a young boy. On hearing what the citizens were saying, he wondered, "My father has gone, he died fighting, but we still have his sword. I shall take it and face the witch. Win or die, I shall be a credit to my father's memory." So the boy bravely armed himself and went off to the tower.

The witch saw him arrive and she grinned, but did not make a move. She wouldn't even bother using her fiery sword on that snivelling youngster, she would wither him with a glance. So she paid little heed to Watanabi's son as he quietly crept into the tower, climbed the stairs without making the slightest sound and entered the witch's room.

When, however, the witch heard the door close, she turned round and laid her wild burning gaze on the boy but the splendour of Watanabi's sword blinded her. "This is Watanabi's sword!" shouted the young boy, and before the witch could defend herself, he struck a blow and ended her life. In his father's memory and in honour of his sword, the boy had freed the city of Kyoto.

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Wolf and Dog

Intended for:All Scouts
Story:A dog slipped off his leash one day and went for a walk in the woods. After a time, he met a wolf.

The dog said to the wolf, "Brother wolf, you look so thin! How can you be happy when you are so thin? You should come live with me and my master. I eat everyday and I never want for food."

The wolf thought for a moment and replied, "Yes, you are right. Why should I be out here in the wild hunting for small bites of food when someone else will give it to me? And you are so well fed. Very well, I will come to live with you."

"Good," said the dog, "then follow me."

As they trotted off to the dog's home, the wolf noticed a patch around the dog's neck where the fur had been worn off.

"Brother Dog, " asked the wolf, "why do you have that patch around your neck where there is no fur?"

The dog slowed down, stopped and turned to the wolf with sadness in his eyes.

"That is where they place the leather leash around my neck. They do this so they can control me and keep me in my place." replied the dog, sadly.

"Never!" said the wolf as he began to trot back into the forest. "I would rather be starving and free than to be fat and a slave."



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